Responsible Business Fund (RBF) from Denmark will provide Ks12.5 billion for nearly 500 local SME businessmen.
Concering this contribution plan, Mr Peter Lysholt Hansen, Denmark Ambassador to Myanmar and Daw Aye Aye Win, Director General of Department of Small and Medium Enterprises Development under the Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection (DISI) of Ministry of Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Center of Excellence, Department of SME Development.
RBF will contribute 65 to 80 per cent of cost to carry out energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste treatment and recycling, occupational safety and Health (OSH), Food safety, managerial and supervision skills and practical and technical skill. It is Ks40 million in minimum and Ks80 million in maximum for small and medium enterprises.
This scheme started in October last year and it is planned for three years. At present, there are some 190 applicants so far. As a first batch, 23 businessmen engaged in implementing a diverse range of projects such as solar photovoltaic (PV) system, energy efficient equipment, solar dryer domes for food safety, Occupation, Safety and Health (OSH) improvements in the garment, beverage and salt industries, waste water treatment projects in rice and dairy sectors received the contribution, said Daw Aye Aye Win, director general.
The government has a plan to offer incentive for Corporate Social Responsibilities performers and international businessmen also giving market opportunities to those activists. The business owners will reap long-term benefits if they follow responsible business practices. At present, most enterprises are still found weak in considering responsible business practice. Therefore, the government will make awareness campaign first instead of taking immediate action, she continued.
Myanmar’s 90 per cent of business constitutes small and medium enterprises. Therefore, this awareness plan aims to bolstering their production and upgrading competitiveness.
During Myanmar’s isolation from the international community, SMEs are far removed from the development opportunities given by the international countries. When the country is building ties with foreign countries across the globe, the countries need to start adopting Responsible Business procedures, said Mr. Peter Lysholt Hansen, Denmark Ambassador. Managing Director Daw Mya Mya Thin from Nine Two Nine Co., Ltd said that Thanks to RBF for contribution to implement OSH activities and we hopes to earn trust from our foreign partners and create healthy and happy work environment for our employees.
SMEs must propose a project idea relevant to one of seven eligible fields and their proposed project solutions have not been implemented already by a competing business. SME must be registered in Myanmar and employs 600 or less permanent staff or has less than Ks 1 billion in paid-up capital. Those businesses has to run for a minimum of 2 years and lastly, those SMEs operating in excluded sectors such as hard liquor, gambling, tobacco, weapons and internationally recognized exclusion list will not be granted this fund.
For those enthusiastic who want to apply for this plan, please dial 09258113737, 09979327744, 094026425799 and send mail to this address [email protected]
May Thet Hnin