September 25, 2017

Strengthening SMEs — Boosting competitiveness through planned incubation centre

A worker reinforces a ploughing mechanmism in Kawa, Bago Region.—Photo: Aye Min Soe
A worker reinforces a ploughing mechanmism in Kawa, Bago Region.—Photo: Aye Min Soe

MYANMAR’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development Department is planning to form an incubation centre to help SMEs become more competitive when the ASEAN Economic Community comes into force.
The move is aimed at overcoming common weaknesses among Myanmar’s SMEs, such as a lack of a systematic approach or long-term vision, said a department official on Thursday.
About 80 percent of Myanmar’s SMEs operate without business plans or balance sheets, said Daw Aye Aye Win, the Deputy Director-General of the Central Department of SMEs Development, which lies under the Ministry of Industry.
Singapore will provide assistance to Myanmar to strength its SME sector, which will also include boosting the efficiency of government personnel in the SME sector, said Daw Aye Aye Win, the Deputy Director-General of the Central Department of SMEs in July during the 5th Singapore-Myanmar Joint Ministerial Working Committee meeting.
The Small and Medium-sized Industrial Development Bank has allocated K20 billion (US$15.6 million) worth of loans for SMEs for the 2015-16 financial year, of which K9 billion kyat (US$7 million) has already been disbursed.
According to a new report from Asian Development Bank (ADB), SMEs across the board in Asia need greater financing to help them grow into dynamic, internationally competitive companies.
“Asia has millions of SMEs but few of them are able to grow to the point where they can innovate or be part of the global supply chain. To do this, they need more growth capital and opportunities to access various financing channels,” Noritaka Akamatsu, Senior Advisor in ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department said in a press release dated 3 September.
The Asia SME Finance Monitor 2014, which assesses 20 countries in developing Asia, noted that SMEs make up an average of 96 percent of all registered firms and employ 62 percent of the labour force, yet contribute only 42 percent of total economic output.—GNLM

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