SME Cluster Development & Export Consortia Training
May 22, 2012
On Monday 14 May, 2012, the Mekong Institute (MI), in collaboration with New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAID), launched a two-week training programme on SME Cluster Development and Export Consortia at its Residential Training Center in Khon Kaen Province.
The training program aimed to develop the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the CLMV Countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam) in order to increase regional business competitiveness and enhance economic growth in the region. The 12-day training programme introduced participants to new tools and strategies with which to form SME clusters and export consortia.
According to the statistical evidence, over 90 percent of the enterprises in the ASEAN Member States are SMEs. If SMEs are developed correctly, national economies will reap the economic benefits through increased employment opportunities and higher income levels. Mr. Madhurja K. Dutta, MI Trade and Facilitation Program manager, reinforced this notion stating that, SMEs are regarded as the backbone of the ASEAN Countries in terms of sustainable economic growth in the long-run.
Although economic growth is evident within the ASEAN countries, the disparity between other ASEAN nations and CLMV businesses continues to grow. With this in mind, the training program which is part of the three-year project; Capacity Building for Integration of CLMV Economies into ASEAN Economic Community is aimed at addressing the increasing aforementioned disparity gap. This will be achieved by developing public human resources and institutional support systems leading to enhanced investment policies and regulatory frameworks which will give SMEs greater access to regional and global value chains.
A total of 30 participants joined the training including SME entrepreneurs, senior government officials, and SME associations from all of the five Greater Mekong Sub-region nations (Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and P.R. China).