Myanmar sharpens focus on helping local MSMEs amid COVID-19

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 our association has met personally with the government. We are officially registered but we have never met with State-level authorities. From the meeting, we learned that the government is increasing its focus on supporting local MSMEs. It is a good sign and we welcome it,” said U Min Thu, secretary of MSMEs Association (Yangon).

“The government assured us they would help MSMEs according to their policy and explained what they could provide and what they couldn’t. We were also able to
highlight requirements from our side. At present, many MSMEs are in financial difficulty due to COVID-19. Throughout successive governments, we have never
encountered such openness from the authorities,” U Min Thu said.MSMEs in Myanmar play a vital role in job creation, innovation, development, poverty alleviation and human resource development, and they could provideopportunities for advanced technologies to enter and a good business and investment environment, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said during the ASEAN Business and Investment Submit held in Bangkok on November 2, 2019.

The government on July 28 also announced a new K100 billion loan fund targeted at businesses in agriculture and livestock affected by the global pandemic. The
funds 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 prioritising on the most
affected 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 businesses 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,” said Myanmar Livestock Federation’s Vice Chair U Kyaw Htin. “On top of giving out loans to businesses affected by COVID-19, business expansion loans should be given out as well,” he added. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Time

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