The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency held their (1/2020) meeting with a videoconference from the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry and the SME Centre in Yangon yesterday.
Present at the meeting were the Chairman of the MSME Agency and Deputy Minister for Planning, Finance and Industry U Aung Htoo, Joint-Chairman of the agency and also Deputy Minister for the same ministry Dr Min Ye Paing Hein, the Vice-Chairman of the agency and UMFCCI President U Zaw Min Win, and other agency members.
U Aung Htoo first delivered a speech where he said MSMEs have suffered from the coronavirus and this is why there are plans for the nation to give out loans in the CERP plan. He said they are working to allot excess funds from the JICA Two-Step Loan as loans for MSMEs and how loans alone are not enough for developing MSMEs.
The Deputy Minister said they require technology, market penetration, and skilled workers to fully develop and the temporary closure of MSMEs during COVID has caused losses. He said if the skilled workers returning to Myanmar during the pandemic were to cooperate with MSMEs then it will increase national production. He said they must support MSMEs to sustain themselves during COVID. U Aung Htoo said business methods will change after COVID and consumer needs will change as well and businesses unable to adapt to these changes will have difficulty keeping afloat. He said MSMEs will need to make extensive use of the Digital Economy and become Internationalization SMEs according to market needs. He called for ideas regarding the Global Value Chain and International Production Nature. Next, Dr. Ye Min Paing Hein said the MSME Agency must discuss how best to reduce the negative side effects of COVID-19 on MSMEs and to support them so that they may swiftly get back on their feet afterwards. He called for agency members to discuss the registration of MSMEs, the Myanmar MSMEs Master Plan drawn in collaboration with FNF, and amending the SME Development Law.The Deputy Minister said the budget of the Ministry of Health and Sports has been increased for prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19 and arrangements have been made to increase the budget for agriculture and livestock processes as well while loans are given out to MSMEs. He said they are arranging to give out loans to CMP businesses, hotels and tourism businesses, transportation businesses, and restaurants. The meeting then commenced with discussions on building resilient MSMEs after COVID-19, the Myanmar MSMEs Master Plan, implementing a digital MSME application, and other policy matters. Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo then delivered the closing speech and ended the meeting. —MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)