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CESD Examines Myanmar’s SME Integration and Regional Participation

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CESD, in partnership with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS), undertook research on Myanmar SME’s Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Economic Integration. The topic specifically focused on Myanmar’s food processing and apparel manufacturing sectors, seeking to understand Myanmar’s macroeconomic integration with the World, East Asia, and ASEAN region, the similarities between Myanmar’s SMEs and others around the world, and the role of SMEs in Myanmar compared to the world.

Myanmar SMEs_ Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Economic Integration – with a Focus on Processed Food and Apparel Manufacturing

Myanmar’s economic system has been characterized by economic isolation and central planning. Today, however, as Myanmar is in the middle of a far-reaching political and economic transition, it is leaving this past behind. For Myanmar’s enterprises, and Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises (SMEs) in particular, the opening of the country’s economy in general and the intensification of regional economic integration more specifically, most notably through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC), bring both opportunities and challenges.

It is in this context that the present study investigates the extent of Myanmar SMEs’ participation in ASEAN and East Asian regional economic relations as well as the challenges they face and the policy support they need for deeper integration. More specifically, this research attempts to address the following four questions: What is the state of Myanmar SMEs’ participation in regional trade, production networks, and investment activities? What are the enabling factors and obstacles to SME participation in regional economic activities? How have regional and preferential trade agreements affected SMEs’ activities and performance? And what are the policy imperatives to promote the active participation of Myanmar SMEs in regional economic integration?

To find answers to these questions, this study, on the one hand, analyzes existing secondary data while, on the other hand, also drawing on a new dataset collected by CESD through a survey among Myanmar enterprises, particularly in the food-processing and garment sectors.

This research was made possible by the financial support of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) and it was carried out within the framework of an ERIA/ISEAS project on “SME Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Economic Integration”.

A preview of the full report can be downloaded from the link below. Please email us at media.cesd@gmail.com to request a digital copy.

Publication name: Myanmar SME’s Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Economic Integration.

Authors: Thomas BernhardtGiles Dickenson-JonesS Kanay De

Supported by: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS)

Publication date: 5 August 2017

Languages: English

Download a preview of the report from the following link:

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