Small and Medium Enterprises have played significant role in the entire GMS region. They are typically well represented in sectors in which size and scale are not significant cost advantages. These sectors include textiles and apparel which is the most predominant sector in this region. Silk production is regarded as an important tool for economic development in the entire GMS region.
Agriculture remains the economic mainstay in GMS. Main items produced and exported from this region vary from staple crops like rice to cash crops including coffee, cashew and mushroom and plantation crops like rubber. Major fruits include citrus, litchi, dragon fruit and banana. Fisheries & Aquaculture sector are also significant contributors to the economy. Other enterprises specializing in food processing, chemicals, rubber, plastic, and fabricated metal.
However, despite inherent potential for growth, a vast majority of SMEs, business associations and chambers in the GMS are suffering from market failures due to insufficient provision of integrated, reliable, relevant and solution oriented business information in terms of Product-Market Combination, knowledge of markets or the customer's needs, finding right Channel Partners, addressing tariff & non-tariff trade barriers, understanding regulatory system etc.
Integrating with global markets therefore requires professional support and therefore strengthening of SMEs for such integration is the present need of the hour. With SMEs contributing more than 90 percent to the manufactured exports from the GMS, a critical need for the SMEs is to have facilitation and hand-holding in the above areas of concern.
The product market intelligence portal is designed and tested the application tool into a step by step of identification of the right product-market mix i.e. deciding which product to sell in which market through the use of competitive indicators and analytical tools. The use of online trade databases and information would help exporters in GMS find countries with the largest and fastest growing markets for their exports and help determine which foreign markets will be the most penetrable & profitable.
The products identification is based on the cluster formation stage of the Mekong Institute which is part of the three-year project on "Capacity Building for the Integration of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) Economies into ASEAN Economic Community" from 2012-2014, funded by New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP). Read More ...