Project Fieldwork to Prepare for SME and Product Cluster Development
July 21, 2016
Mekong Institute (MI) has designed and implemented the Study on Market and Value Chain Mapping in 19 provinces along the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) from May to July 2016 under the Project on “Enhancing Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises along the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) of ASEAN Mekong Subregion (AMS)” funded by Japan – ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).
The study aims to identify SME product clusters in the 19 SEC provinces in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar through mapping the cluster to understand its linkages with the national, regional and global value chains.
MI’s project team visited and worked closely with the selected local partners and stakeholders in the 19 provinces in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, respectively. During the fieldwork, the study team conducted consultative meetings with Focus Groups (FGM) and specific discussions with provincial government officials, and products chain actors as follows:
i. Departments of Industry and Trade (DOIT), Business Associations, Economic Management Office, Food Safety Hygiene and Inspection Services, Centers for Trade and Investment Promotion and Trade Fair, Young Entrepreneur Association, State Bank and commercial banks, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and SMEs in Vietnam;
ii. Provincial Offices of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor and Vocational Training, and Culture and Fine Arts, Chambers of Commerce (CC), Federation of Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC), commercial banks, microfinance institutions and SMEs in Cambodia;
iii. Provincial Offices of Agriculture, Commercial Affairs, Community Development, Industry, and Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion, commercial banks, Chamber of Commerce (CC), Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Community Enterprise Networks and SMEs in Thailand; and
iv. Tanintharyi Region Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection (DISI), Tanintharyi Department of Commerce, Tanintharyi region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), commercial banks, Italian-Thai Development, SME Associations and SMEs in Myanmar.
In total, 314 provincial representatives from public and private sectors joined the discussions during the fieldwork to identify market and product chains, enabling business environment factors, Business Development Service (BDS) market, sectoral and geographical concentration of the identified and potential value chains, constraints and solutions, and opportunities of increased and improved connections and linkages in the domestic, regional and global value chains.
Product chains and cluster development in each province are proposed during the fieldwork visit. They are comprised of Shrimp, Rice, Fishery, Tiger Prawn, Cassava, Stone Carving, Fish Sauce, Pottery & Ceramics, Birds Nest Farming and Processing, Natural Salt, Durian Production and Processing, Banana Processing, Fruit Processing, Aromatic Coconut Production and Processing, Herb, Tourism and Rubber Plantation & Processing.
Based on the data collection, MI’s project team will produce the value chain maps for the proposed products and recommendations on SME and product cluster development in the next project implementation. The study result will be shared with the Project Steering Committee (PSC) members and project local partners and stakeholders at the regional workshop on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) – Sharing Perspective, Knowledge and Experiences, which is scheduled in August at MI.