SME development to gain speed in 2018

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Vice President U Myint Swe delivers the speech at the 13th meeting for SME development in Yangon.
 Photo: MNA

At the 13th meeting between Vice President U Myint Swe and Myanmar businesses held yesterday, the Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho said SME development works are to start early next year.
For now, SME development central committees and three work committees, for SME agencies, fund management and work reviews/reports, led by Union Ministers, were formed and an official announcement will be made soon, it is learnt.
In order to recognise the development of SMEs, competition by work sectors will be held in states and regions, said the Union Minister.
“For SMEs to know all their works, a competition will be held on recognising entry into the market. Their products will be displayed for all to know”, the Union Minister said.
The competitions are scheduled to be held in the second week of January, for which Japan will provide technical support and help judge the products. The products that are up to standards in the regional competitions will compete in the final competition that will be held in Nay Pyi Taw, added the Union Minister. Vice President U Myint Swe said the government is using various methods for SME sector development and urges the private businesses to work together for this.
“SMEs are the main driving force in the country’s economy. If SMEs are implemented, economy will develop. We are expecting much for SME sector development” said the Vice President.

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A worker checks the quality of a dress rolling out from a weaving machine in Meiktila, Mandalay Region.  Photo: Chan Thar (Meiktila)

The government will be working together on obtaining cash investments, main infrastructure requirements of electrical power and obtaining loans without collateral. Businesses can submit the difficulties they face, added the Vice President.
In issuing loans to SMEs, arrangements are made so that those entitled will be provided with loans within 30 days. Myanmar national experts who had international experience in SME development are also employed as advisors, said Union Minister for Industry U Khin Maung Cho.
In the 11th meeting held in October, Union Minister U Khin Maung Cho mentioned that Myanma Economic Bank would provide loans totaling Ks200 billion.
Currently, JICA and western nations are providing financial and technical support for SME sector development in Myanmar.
According to a research conducted by Central Statistics Organisation, 98 per cent of the more than 120,000 businesses registered in Myanmar are SMEs. In the employment sector, of the 21.9 million workers, 83 per cent are working in un-registered SMEs.
The private sector development committee held meetings with entrepreneurs every month and so they have now met 12 times as of November, discussing 200 challenges being faced by entrepreneurs, said Vice President U Myint Swe.
He also suggested holding private and public dialogues between the ministries and entrepreneurs concerned to solve the remaining obstacles, as the regional and state governments have replied to the entrepreneurs regarding their challenges.
The vice president also urged entrepreneurs to take advantage of the newly enacted Myanmar Companies Law, which guarantees to consider a company with a 35 per cent share of foreign investment as a citizen-owned company.
Meanwhile, to support the export and import sector, the Central Bank of Myanmar has allowed export financing and related banking services for export financing services since 8th December.


By May Thet Hnin


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