Home to 326 million culturally homogenous people, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) offers immense opportunities for SMEs to participate, co-create and co-strengthen regional value chains. The countries within this subregion may also benefit from increased employment and output, leading to more inclusive and sustainable development. With SMEs driving growth, the economies of this subregion would be less vulnerable to economic shocks and uncertainties, and countries would benefit from an emerging entrepreneurship culture. Given this, it is imperative for the governments of the subregion delve into meaningful discussions and debates – collectively and individually within governments – to create an enabling business environment through appropriate policies, programs, institutions, and infrastructural support to facilitate SMEs’ participation in the global and regional value chains.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) conducted this study focused on strengthening SME capacity building and developing better enabling business environments for SMEs’ effective participation in regional and global value chains. This book discusses different industrial policies and strategies in practice and closely examines four GMS industries, namely garments and textile, agro-processing, consumer electronics, and solar photovoltaic industry. The book also proposes a 10-point policy recommendation involving targeted SME development, market and value chain development, and national capacity enhancement and regional integration. The book is expected to benefit multiple stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the policy makers and the professionals involved in market and value chain development for SMEs of the region, and potentially beyond.