To highlight the successes, opportunities, and barriers in adoption of innovative financial solutions in the region and to share good practices in the current state of digital innovation and Fintech for the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Lancang-Mekong Countries, the Mekong Institute (MI), with support from the People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, organized an online regional workshop on “Facilitating Fintech and Digital Payment Inclusion for MSMEs in Lancang-Mekong Countries” from March 28 to April 1, 2022.
“In the context of new trend of technological revolution and inter-transformation, the digital economy is blooming as a new tie of all the time. Particularly in all the subregions, it becomes as a key driving force to revitalize world economic growths.” stated by Mr. Ke Yousheng, Permanent Representative of P.R. China to UNESCAP and MI Steering Committee Member for P.R. China, in his opening remarks. He shared that “this second workshop on Digital Connectivity is one of MI activities which is funded by P.R. China and I am confident that the workshop and the project will be able to contribute and promote the digital transformation and the financial inclusion of SMEs in the GMS countries.”
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director of MI, encouraged the participants to be conscious on how beneficial the digital technology is for the future. He said that “the digital technology transformation holds enormous potential to support growth, promote innovation, and facilitate connectivity.” He stressed that “in the recent year, technology with digital connectivity and e-commerce platform plays an important role as a key driver to connect Lancang-Mekong countries and MSMEs sector to domestic and global markets.”
He added that “in time of COVID-19, digital technology and connectivity has also become a critical endeavor that allows us to cope, response and prepare for the better recovery. In particularly for the MSMEs sector in the Lancang-Mekong Countries, the MSMEs sector makes significant contributions to economic growth as they are the largest providers of employment of agriculture, income generation, and innovation.”
The project is comprised of three components, namely preliminary research, online workshop, and expert dialogue. Under the Component 2, this second workshop is part of a series of online workshops on different key issues of digitalization and digital connectivity of the MSMEs.
Participated by 43 representatives from government officials, non-governmental organizations, development organization, and experts in the areas of digital economy and MSMEs development from Cambodia, P.R. China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The five-day workshop covered five modules wherein key stakeholders can discuss on the factors of digital connectivity and platforms to strengthen Fintech digital transformation and solutions for the MSMEs sector in the Lancang-Mekong countries.