With the support of the People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, Mekong Institute (MI) organized an Online Synthesis and Evaluation Workshop on “Advancing Financial Access and Support Policy to Empowering MSMEs for Digitalization and Inclusive Growth in Lancang-Mekong Countries” on September 30, 2022. The objective was to bring the participants back to reflect on their experiences on the action plan implementation and discuss further steps to move forward digital connectivity in the Lancang-Mekong Countries for Post-Pandemic Recovery.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, MI Executive Director, highlighted the importance of digital inclusion as a key to supporting micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session was outlined to give participants an overview of digital connectivity in Lancang-Mekong countries’ MSMEs, Fintech and digital payment inclusion, as well as support needed. After the theoretical presentation, participants were invited to reflect upon and discuss how the implementation went on the ground and jointly find a way to integrate new ideas.
This one-day online workshop reconvened 34 participants from China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand who were involved in the development of the action plan in the previous workshop held on June 20 – 22, 2022. The session began with each country representative giving a presentation on the outcomes and sharing their reflections. This was followed by an exchange on the challenges which hinder MSMEs and how to further MSMEs empowerment in this digital era.
A number of action plans focused on the need for more digital services or platforms, identifying skills needed in digital era, finding a way to promote access to digital connectivity, and exploring new innovative digital technologies.
As an essential part of this workshop, Mr. Liu Qixin, an official from the Lancang-Mekong Sub-regional Economic and Trade Development Center, gave a presentation about the Progress and Way Forward for the GMS Cross-Border E Commerce Cooperation Platform and shared insights in implementing this project.