Let items of medicinal properties be marketable

Wooden furnitures being seen at the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Products Trade Fair and contest.  Photo: Supplied
Wooden furnitures being seen at the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Products Trade Fair and contest.  Photo: Supplied

I got to Myeik town under an arrangement of a local community. Ihappened to be in the middle of displays of goods and competitions. I went there by chance to have a look around at the show and listened to the discussions. In the hope of crowing and grumbling.
Actually there were noises of crowing and grumbling from businessmen. As the location is near the border of other country, it could be an opportunity as well as a challenge. As usual in all meetings, people were crowded at an opening ceremony; but there were few audiences . If there were many who were willing to take part in the discussions. For instance, talks about owning the copyright of a novel, a music or a song. The locals rarely think about that sort of thing. Once at an event in Nay Pyi Taw, I found it impossible to award a prize because of an international trademark.
Authorities concerned in Myeik invited me in advance to take part in the discussions. And to add the title of MSME, how could I help these enterprises. Getting loans and other assistance are often heard; actually they are greatly in need of loans. It is easier said than done to get other assistance. Presently, how could I help in yourbusiness? What remains to be done? In some ways, ask for help and at the same time, start from your own business. After an opening ceremony on 22 March, 2019, I looked around at the showrooms.
All local businesses which won prizes in the competitions have also arrived in Myeik including some businesses which have sought a new market. I have never seen many of finished products of wood. Stringy masses of fibers from the dried fruit of Sponge Gourd are seen in a new form. A lot of Kunzaw oil and bird-nest shops. I could notremember the pills of Kunzaw oil, not in a liquid form. I found a lotof medicines which have been used by myself. Traditional medicines are meant for competitions, but included pharmaceutical products as discussed earlier. Chemical drugs are intended to produce with the help of a machinery. Chemists and food experts should give a lot of advice.
A big bronze from Mandalay was unusually found here in Myeik. The big Bronze could create a statue by using laser method; They could not only create statues but also heavy machinery parts. I am not going to talk about my favourite dry tea leaves, coffee and tea. Shipate is widely used and not-so-important butterfly pea flowers are found medicinal and marketable. Clothing industry from Pakokku won a prize, little-known Pakokku jams and slippers are normally found. A pair of shoes with an extra brush is simple and new.
I did not expect many businesses of yam tubers, grams, dried fish and roasted lima beans. Rice , not strange in our eyes, is to boost the strength and diabetic patients. Pickled fish from Pago is also included and so is AmayHtwa cooking oil from Magwe. Local populace take a great interest in Thatha boiled rice. I don’t understand much about battery-driven cars, machinery and high dryers. Among prize-winning businesses, the business which made Gascards , exported them to foreign countries. Pedalling company also exported bamboo products as fishing rods. Water-purifying machines, Ayethaya wine and Sogyu are also supported by local populace. Jujube and tamarind juices and Nan Sein Bakery enjoyed recognition and popularity.
Women folks were interested in buying silk and cotton cloth and computerized embroideries. A shop for teaching aids was surrounded by children and parents probably for their studies during summer holidays. Chin, Kachin and Shan traditional clothing shops were also seen. Pillows, curtains, mattresses and toilet goods were made of amber; in addition, a shirt made of amber was found. During my stay of 2 or 3 weeks, I could not look around all shops, let alone the other ones. For every round I was burdened with several gifts which had to be put at nearby shops to be collected later in the day. My stomach was full of tea, coffee and different kinds of juices, thereby lucky enough not get infected with diarrhea and vomiting . Carbolic and Shwewar soaps were strangely found, showing their presence up until today. If it were held in Yangon, I wonder more spectators could be expected. I am happy to see that young businessmen get involved in their own businesses; but they were not seen in discussions and knowledge-sharing talks, possibly because of taking care of their showrooms. The reasons could be coincided with one another for many discussions and competitions were held simultaneously. They should have known intellectual copyrights, loans, and permits issued by Food and Drug Administration concerning with essential foodstuffs.
As the Deputy Minister of Commerce Ministry pointed out, only 10% of the loans could be granted. At the same time, there is no basic accounting system. Bank loans cannot be granted to the businesses where there were no prior engagements with the Banks. No guarantors for possible losses at higher interest rates. Far from technical knowledge; weak competitive advantages in other markets rather thanlocal markets. Despite difficulties, we have to our businesses on a self-help basis.
We have to recognize businesses which have tried to attain this position. Those who won prizes should be acknowledged with a permit together with an accompaniment of special loans under my advice. In the future, prizes should be categorized for granting loans despite different kinds of difficulties involved.
There is a deadlock between lenders and borrowers with 10% interest rate; serious negotiations are needed to break the deadlock. Japan’s loans of K.500 million during a period of 5 years could solve the problems of granting short-term and long-term loans to the businesses. Purchases of machines, upgrading of factories need and an enormous amount of money to keep the machinerygoing on. It is interesting that Japan’s loans are not available for housing, banking, metalwork , liquor and entertainment as well as for farming.(the loans are available through Agricultural Bank and but loans are available for those connected with farming such as rice mills, oil mills, and food industry.) Myanmar Economic Bank lends money by a mortgage for 90 businesses and under Computer-generated imagery(CGI) without mortgages for 185 businesses, totaling 275 businesses. As much as K. 15000 million was found to have lent out to many businesses.
Many loans are available in Taninthaye Region, Nay Pyi Taw and many States; as much as K. 300 million was lent out during a period of 3-5 years with an interest rate of 9% in an accompaniment of mortgaged properties. Production, production and sales, exports and substitutes of imports, economization on fuel, and recycle and technique-based service sectorswere given a priority for loans. As much as K. 20 million was currently lent out under the CGI system.
The system is used for those who are unable to show enough mortgaged properties and those with no mortgaged properties. With support of Myanmar Insurance Association, a permit has been issued to the businesses with no mortgaged properties.
It is also interesting that discussions on foods are made by Food and Drug Administration. As the food is directly connected with intake of a consumer, the separation of working places and residences is indispensable. Inspections of workers’ health and their uniforms and clothes-changing rooms should be provided.
A businessman discussed about digging tube wells to bring water up from under the ground; water from the tube wells is more purified than that of streams and normal wells. As there are many food industries in our country, food intakes on exports must be hygienic. Day after day, some drugs are often found harmful and food is found to be of little help to one’s health.
Upon study tours around the showrooms, these industries present are greatly in need of loans, acquisition of technology, marketability and businesses on a self-help basis. Businesses on a self-help basis will surely be helped by other works and associations in a genuine sympathy. This kind of event will pave the way for connections between generous givers and humble takers. Let our Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise keep flourishing including marketability in domestic and foreign showrooms. Our products should be beneficial not only for consumers but also for producers by adding medicinal values. (Translated by Arakan Sein)

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