YANGON, 28 February 2014 – A UNIDO project, funded by the Government of Italy, is helping boost private sector-led growth in Myanmar and provide better employment and livelihood opportunities for local communities. It focuses on increasing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through developing cluster and business linkages.
The preliminary results of the project “Fostering pro-poor and inclusive MSME development in Myanmar”, including in policy advice for MSME development, industrial zones and cluster mapping, were presented in Yangon today.
The event was attended by Deputy Minister of Industry, U Myo Aung, and the Ambassador of Italy, Paolo Andrea Bartorelli. It brought together some 200 representatives of government institutions, SMEs, the private sector, donors and development agencies.
Deputy Minister U Myo Aung expressed appreciation to UNIDO and the Government of Italy for the support in policy advice, capacity-building and the transfer of know-how. He stressed the importance his country attached to MSME development, noting that it was crucial for achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Reaffirming his country’s support for the reform process in Myanmar, Ambassador Bartorelli said that SME development had served as the basis of success for Italy, helping it develop its economy and eventually prosper after the Second World War.
Gerardo Patacconi, Chief of UNIDO Clusters and Business Linkages Unit, said that UNIDO’s work in Myanmar focuses on MSME development, industrial energy efficiency and environmental management, and quality infrastructure. “Developing SMEs, clusters and the supply chain will help in job creation and in achieving the sustainability and inclusiveness of Myanmar’s economy,” he said.
The project has helped provide the necessary policy advice to the Ministry of Industry, and the Ministry of Cooperatives, and to support the review of Myanmar’s SME Law. It will also help in the preparation of an Industrial Zone Law. Under the project, a pilot intervention in the Lacquer-ware cluster in Bagan is also foreseen.
Patacconi said that in the future the project could be scaled up into a full-fledged sustainable and inclusive industrial development programme.
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Chief, UNIDO Clusters and Business Linkages Unit