Mekong Institute (MI) and the Korea International Development Agency (KOICA) have partnered to boost income and employment opportunities of women-led enterprises in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam as part of their mission to promote inclusive growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
“Other than helping SMEs increase profits, we are committed to bridge the gender gap by supporting the entry and growth of women-owned and women-managed small- and medium-enterprises in the regional and global value chains through e-commerce platforms,” Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, MI’s Director for Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF), explained at the signing of the project. “By increasing women’s meaningful participation in economic activities, we boost productivity, increase economic diversification, and encourage income equality in each country in the GMS.”
Under the "Market Access Through E-Commerce Promotion for Women-Led SMEs” project, MI in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam, will implement a series of capacity building activities to strengthen business development skills of women-led enterprises from 2020 to 2022. The project will focus on building participants’ managerial skills, broadening their access to information on market trends and opportunities, and mentoring them to expand their business networks.
A market study will also be conducted to analyze market opportunities in Korea for SME products from Mekong countries. Findings from the study will also highlight recommendations to better promote export products of women-led SMEs from Mekong countries to the Republic of Korea using digital platforms.
In the area of trade and investment facilitation, this MI project is one of many activities that support SME development in the GMS. For over a decade, MI’s TIF Department has been working steadily to promote the internationalization of SMEs by helping them expand their businesses, gain access to technology, and diversify products to maximize cross-border trade opportunities and foster deeper cooperation in the region.