October 20, 2017

Central Committee holds meeting to boost SMEs

President U Htin Kyaw addresses the meeting of Central Committee for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (1/2017) in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

At the Central Committee for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (1/2017) meeting held yesterday morning in the Credentials Hall of the Presidentials Palace, Chairman of the Central Committee President U Htin Kyaw addressed those who attended the meeting.
The President stressed that Small and Medium Enterprises play an important role in the country’s economic development and are pioneers in creative entrepreneurships and can better adapt to the changing market demands than larger businesses, and can do this faster.
Because SMEs exist in all sectors of the economy, they have the capacity to extend employment opportunities to suburban areas as well as prevent internal migration and urbanization.
The President likened the SMEs to an economic engine of the country.
“Not only should we encourage development of SMEs, but review and amend necessary policies, laws, bylaws, rules and regulations so that they can better compliment the SMEs,” the President said.
In undertaking this reform process, the President said it was important to strengthen the framework at the national, state and regional levels. There are four essential factors to keep in mind when considering developing SMEs: First, reducing the risks fledgling enterprises face; second, the flow of investment and capital, third, knowledge-sharing and supporting pioneering efforts, and fourth, advertising effectively and forming strong networks so as to gain a foothold in the international supply chain.
The Central Committee in its current state needs to form a Working Committee and assign tasks and responsibilities, and form subsequent agencies, fund management departments and other necessary departments. This proposal for forming a Working Committee was submitted today in accord with SME Law Act 5, Section 7 and after approval, the Working Committee will be tasked with forming of the necessary departments.
The SMEs are as varied as they are myriad and should therefore be systematically supported from all sectors and given more support starting from this meeting.
SME Development Central Committee Joint Chairperson State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi then delivered a speech in which she addressed SMEs as a sector we cannot afford to ignore improving as they make up 99 per cent of our economic force, so there is no need to clarify just how important they are in the development of our nation. Concerning SMEs our government departments have classified human resources, technical and creative support, capital funding, better infrastructure, gaining a foothold in the marketplace, imposing reasonable taxes and regulations and creating suitable business environments as priorities. The State Counsellor expressed her trust and belief that invited skilled professionals and experts will collaborate on how best to implement strategies and policies on developing the SME sector.
“We can liken small and medium enterprises to a bridge linking local and foreign sectors. In establishing SMEs we should bear in mind that our country is a member of the ASEAN community and therefore we need to work within the rules, regulations, and criteria while remaining focused on our country’s needs as well,” she said. “We must also remember that our country is an agricultural nation as many are not aware that SMEs have relevance to the agricultural sector. There are those who regard business as separate from agriculture and more in line with industrial corporations. But in our country we need to link SMEs to the agricultural sector. How will we improve our SMEs to address the food supply needs of the 21st century? How will we increase and better our SMEs with respect to other countries? I want our professionals and skilled experts to take this in consideration. The needs of our own country are paramount, we cannot stand alone, so we need to work out a way that connects with global SMEs to develop our own enterprises.
The most important aspect is education. The government cannot do everything; we are a system that believes on the market economy and we as the government need to consider how to support our SMEs so that they succeed. The Central Committee’s role is to lead the economy, not to monopolize it. We do not impose our policies. I want you to advise us how to effectively support the SME sector to improve the development of our country and connect with the global community both economically and socially.
“We need to be broad-minded. We will never be successful if we hold narrow-minded vision, in the long run, but it may be fruitful in the short term. For SMEs to attain prolonged success, we need not only look into global current affairs but also to influence the global currents. And we need to have ingenuity and proceed to implementation of the idea by using ingenuity. We must search for techniques and knowhow countries had never used, because our country lagged much behind other countries in the economic field. So to overcome them, we are required to produce the avant-garde and create new markets. As for the technicians and professional experts, they are urged to give advice and suggestions with bravery and openness. They need to venture to test methods that had never been done before. Here, I did not mean foolish courage. Had we implemented the work with the first-ever new techniques, it would be greatly helpful to the development of our SMEs. Peace, stability and development of the country are closely connected with the economy. On examination of global politics, other countries had to pay great respect of fastest-growing economies. Thus, economically developed countries come to influence over the inferiors. We want our nation to stand tall in the midst of the world’s countries. As for the SMEs, we firmly believe that we can not only keep up with other countries but also will be able to try hard to overtake them, by including suitable representatives, experts, technicians, scholars and persons who will ponder the well-being of Myanmar people in the working committee, regardless of our past poor conditions.”
Afterward, U Khin Maung Cho, Union Minister for Industry, Secretary of the Central Committee for the Development of SMEs, said, “To narrow the gap among Regions and States, 53 branch offices have been opened in the Union Region, Nay Pyi Taw, 15 Regions and States and 38 districts. The aim and objective of the SME is aimed at leading to increasing job opportunities and socio-economic development of all citizens. SME Development Law has been enacted for supporting the process of SME in accord with the law. SME Agency and national-level committees will be formed in accord with the law. There are 50694 SMEs, altogether in Regions, States and Union Region. To promote the skills of employees in SMEs, annual opening of regular courses and Mobile Vocational Training courses which can reach rural areas, have been arranged.”
In addition, U Myint Swe, Vice-President and Vice-Chairman of the central committee of the development of SMEs, Union Ministers, central committee members and scholars suggested that experiences and facts needed to be amended in the prescribed law and in duty assignments.
“There are six sectors to help SMEs improve, in financial aid, electric power supply, reasonable taxes, credit guarantee and others. In forming organizations, duties need to be assigned definitely and to include entrepreneurs, technicians and professional experts. Committees are needed to welcome them to give necessary advice. And it is necessary to systematically share techniques and knowledge for the development of the SMEs,” the President said.
Present at the ceremony were the Union Attorney General, the Chairman of Myanmar Central Bank and experts.—Myanmar News Agency

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