Strengthening Local Chambers of Commerce and Industry along the East-West Economic Corridor to Promote Trade, Investment and Value Chains
The increasing importance of the global production networks and supply chains coupled with the completion of the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) provided a solid basis for increased business opportunities and cooperation within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), especially the integration of micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) into supply chains and regional and global value chains. Yet most MSMEs had little knowledge of regional/global value chains and related production networks. The majority of MSMEs in the GMS were in the agricultural sector, agro- industry and agribusiness. Local chambers of commerce and industry (CCIs) could play a critical role in advocating and promoting trade, investment, and MSME development and integration into those value chains. With these in mind and in response to the recommendations made by the GMS countries, the technical assistance (TA) aimed to enhance the integration of MSMEs in the GMS into regional value chains (RVCs) and global value chains (GVCs). Organic vegetables were selected as the demonstrable pilot value chain for project implementation. This product line took advantage of the rapidly growing regional and global markets for organic foods because of safety concerns; the involvement of a large number of households in small-scale agricultural activities (many of whom still lived below the poverty line); the comparative advantage of the EWEC countries in the production of organic vegetables due to their relatively low-cost labor; the strong interest of GMS public and private sectors in developing organically certified products for the ASEAN region and global markets; and strong government support for food safety as well as an environmentally friendly agricultural sector.
Progress (as of March 2021)Project closed
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