Mekong Institute (MI) undertakes a new collaboration with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) through the Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada) and EQ Foundation to develop the export capacity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agro-food sector.
The one-year project on ‘Making Trade Work for Development: Export Capacity Support for Small Exporters from Asia-Pacific (ECSAF) Least Developed Countries in Specialty Agro-food Value Chains’ targets SMEs in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. MI and EQ Foundation will provide training, one-on-one consultations, advisory support as well as market familiarization missions to Canada to selected SMEs in the specialty food sector to strengthen their market research capacities, encourage peer exchange among exporters and connect them with Canadian buyers.
Mr. Rodolfo Moseres, President of EQ Foundation, remarked that the Greater Mekong Subregion offers huge potentials, with SMEs at a stage in which they can develop and expand into the international market. He further said, “We’re looking forward to this project to help them out to be able to place their products in the Canadian and North American markets…MI is a significant development factor in the region…and being able to work in this project with IDRC and TFO is a first step into many more projects to come.” He expressed his hope that this collaboration will “open up the road for more positive work in the region.”
Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, MI Executive Director, said that the project builds on MI’s connections and the work it has done with SMEs in previous projects such as the IDRC-funded project supporting the export capacity of women entrepreneurs.