Myanmar Sharpens focus on helping local MSMEs amid COVID-19

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Owners of local Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have voiced satisfaction over the government’s interest in the sector after U Ye Min Oo, Yangon Minister for Planning and Finance and Chair of the Region MSME Development Agency met with local MSME owners on July 28. This is the first time their association has met personally with the government. They are officially registered but they have never met with State-level authorities. From the meeting, they learned that the government is increasing its focus on supporting local MSMEs.

MSMEs in Myanmar play a vital role in job creation, innovation, development, poverty alleviation and human resource development, and they could provide opportunities for advanced technologies to enter and a good business and investment environment. The government on July 18 also announced a new K100 billion loan fund targeted at business in agriculture and livestock affected by the global pandemic. The fund will be given out to agriculture and livestock businesses, export/import, manufacturing, supply chain, F&B, foreign job agencies and vocational schools.

The CERP was first announced on April 27 to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy with the first K100 billion fund prioritizing on the most affected sectors sectors such as garment manufacturing, hotels and tourism, and small businesses. The government has since amassed additional funds to help businesses in other sectors. Livestock business felt the effect as a result of travel restrictions,however as the government is relaxing the rules, these businesses are operating again and require support. On top of giving out loans to businesses affected by COVID-19, business expansion loans should be given out as well.

Source: Myanmar Times

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