Small businesses essential for Myanmar’s COVID-19 recovery: DaNa

Small businesses are essential for Myanmar’s economy to recover as economic growth is forecasted to slow to zero due to COVID-19, according to a recent
report from UK-funded DaNa Facility.The report was made for the government by DaNa Facility in cooperation with the International Trade Centre and the United Nations to review the impacts COVID19 had on Myanmar’s economic sectors and to suggest effective responses primarily on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) “This [assessment] will improve implementation of the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan, facilitate implementation of key measures to support access to finance and trade and investment activities, and produce a platform for building a post-COVID-19 recovery plan for Myanmar,” said Peter Brimble, senior technical adviser of the DaNa Facility.

The COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan, known as CERP, was launched by the National League for Democracy-led government in late April, containing a slew of
measures and assistance programmes intended to mitigate the economic impact.
The country’s tourism, hospitality, airlines and manufacturing sectors have been hit hardest by the global health crisis as governments around the world including
Myanmar imposed strict virus preventive measures, the DaNa report said.

It added that COVID-19 is threatening to devastate Myanmar’s business community, particularly the developing and fragile MSMEs, which are the backbone of the
economy and drivers in economic recovery.The report made the case for ensuring MSMEs remain operational and receive finance during the crisis because they form the backbone of the nation’s economy.Due to the virus, the poor are also experiencing hardships, especially those in informal urban services, while marginalised and vulnerable groups are at even greater risk than before.

The Working Committee, set up by the NLD-led government, has put out a K200 billion ($146 million) Working Capital Fund for seriously affected businesses and
MSMEs.In addition, the report highlighted four linked objectives: protect, recover, revitalise, and prosper which aims to support in recognising policies that meet the current requirements and at the same time laying the foundations for faster and more resilient and sustainable growth especially in relation to MSMEs once the pandemic is overcome.

The report also emphasised the essential role the private sector will play in aiding the country from relief to recovery during the crisis. Momentum for private sector growth is vital for Myanmar’s economic recovery post-pandemic, it argued.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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