Trade and Investment Facilitation

Over 100 women-led SME representatives and government officials from trade promotion and business development organizations representing Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) participated in four national workshops in Ho Chi Minh, Yangon, Vientiane, and Phnom Penh from November 26 to 28, 2020.

Supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Mekong Institute (MI), in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Lao PDR, Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry of Myanmar, the Investment and Trade Promotion Center of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, 20 CLMV participants of MI’s online modular training program on “Entrepreneurship Development Through E-Commerce Promotion” organized the four workshops in their home countries to enhance awareness of more local women-led SMEs and trade promotion officers on entrepreneurship development through e-commerce promotion; build up networks between the public and private sectors, as well as among e-commerce players to smoothen export supply chains; provide women-led SMEs marketing access information and opportunities in Korea and other potential export markets; and facilitate an enabling environment for e-commerce development in CLMV.  

Speaking at the opening sessions of these events, Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, MI’s Director of Trade and Investment Facilitation, emphasized the growing importance of digital platforms in international trade and how women entrepreneurs can seize opportunities to access global markets. He also introduced the e-commerce training curriculum and two studies on market access through e-commerce in Korea and CLMV, which were developed under the project as useful reference tools for export business.

With assistance from the MI project team, the 20 MI alumni served as facilitators and trainers at these national events. By implementing their action plans, the alumni deepened their understanding on entrepreneurship and e-commerce. These also enhanced their skills to organize and facilitate training activities to reach a larger group of participants in their respective countries. The process of knowledge sharing also empowered them to develop export e-market strategies and plans, so they can start and operate export businesses through e-commerce.

The four national events were part of the three-year “Market Access Through E-Commerce Promotion for Women-Led SMEs” project. Supported by KOICA, the project’s goals are to increase employment opportunities and income of women-led enterprises through the development and expansion of exports through e-commerce. Another two cycles of modular training programs will be organized in 2021 and 2022, respectively, as part of the project.

Lao Workshop News Brief

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