A presentation for the Myanmar Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) 2017 Survey was held at the Ministry of Planning and Finance building in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning, with Vice President U Myint Swe delivering the opening speech.
In his speech, the Vice President said two surveys for the MSME population and two for quality in the production sector will be conducted within the years 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 to aid in establishing the “Myanmar Business Monitoring System” as part of the 2016-2020 Denmark-Myanmar agreement on development implementation with the Danish Government.
The Vice President said Myanmar needs reliable data for setting fact-based policies, prioritized sectors, designing strategic plans and monitoring efforts. He thanked the Danish Ambassador and UNU-WIDER for providing financial and technological assistance.
The MSME Survey includes over 71,000 commodity production businesses and highlights the needs for the development of SMEs and to increase their competitiveness while identifying their difficulties, said the Vice President. He added that the survey included invaluable data that charts a detailed map of the SME sphere in Myanmar.
This survey also included data related to employees that shows the correlation between wages and the demand of the workforce and available skillsets, said the Vice President. From this he sees the need for more training schools to increase the workforce capacity.
The Vice President said technological support was needed for Myanmar SMEs to produce high-quality commodities, as well as encouragement for pioneers, innovation, creativity and exploring new markets. He said only then will the country replace imports with local products and drive up export rates as well. He said Myanmar was implementing the 12-point economic policies which included SME development. He said it was important to change to a ‘from data to policy’ approach so that the private sector was strengthened.
According to the 2015 Myanmar Economic Survey, the manufacturing sector made up the bulk of the economic sector at 40 per cent, while 90 per cent of the businesses in Myanmar were small businesses, said the Vice President. He added that only 2 per cent of businesses in the country employ more 250 more staff.
This clearly outlined how SMEs were the fundamental building blocks for developing Myanmar’s economy, said the Vice President, adding that the SME Development Central Committee and Working Committees were formed to address this objective.
The Vice President said the manufacturing sector created more job opportunities than other trade sectors of the service sector. He said producing high quality products would drive up the manufacturing sector. He concluded by thanking everyone involved in making the MSME 2017 Survey a success.
Next, Union Minister for Commerce Dr. Than Myint explained about the requirements and difficulties faced by MSMEs in their self-development.
This was followed by the Cherge d’affairs of Denmark Embassy Ms. Dorte Chortsen explaining the benefits of conducting surveys in supporting a country’s economic development.
The Vice President then took a documentary photo with the participants.
The event continued with the Director-General of the Central Statistical Organization, Dr. Wah Wah Maung, and UNU-WIDER lead researcher Mr. Finn Tarp explaining the central findings and policy advice found in the MSME 2017 Survey.
The Nay Pyi Taw Council, state and region Ministers for commerce then presented and discussed about acquiring loans and advices for MSMEs. Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Sett Aung the delivered the closing speech and ended the event. Attending the event were Union Ministers Dr. Aung Thu, U Thant Sin Maung, U Win Khaing, Dr. Than Myint and U Han Zaw, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairperson Dr. Myo Aung, deputy ministers, commerce ministers from the Nay Pyi Taw Council, states and regions, Cherge d’affairs of Denmark Embassy Ms. Dorte Chortsen, officials from UNU-WIDER, department heads, and officials from joint-development organizations, NGOs, humanitarian and civil groups.