Our Project


A recent rapid assessment on SMEs clusters conducted by Mekong Institute (MI) reveals that the agencies and stakeholders involved in promoting SMEs and cross-border trade in this economic corridor still have limited capacities. The biggest challenge facing the SMEs in the SEC is how to access and create effective linkages with regional and global markets. Most of the SMEs are domestic market-oriented and have been facing critical constraints caused by lack of (i) capacities and competiveness at the international level; (ii) effective advocacy; and (iii) skills of trade negotiation, while a regional approach for SME development along SEC to access regional and global value chain has not been made.

To address the issues, MI formulated the project on “Enhancing Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) of ASEAN Mekong Subregion (AMS)” with an aim to enhance capacities of the agencies involved in trade and investment activities to facilitate cross border trade and support SMEs through range of capacity building programs. The Government of Japan through the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Component of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) has collaborated and entrusted MI to implement the Project for a two-year period 2016 – 2018.

Project Objective

To enhance capacities of the agencies involved in trade and investment activities, to facilitate cross border trade, and support SMEs and Business Development Service (BDS) providers through technical and management capacity development programs. To this end, capacity development programs for stakeholders and beneficiaries in CMTV are developed through series of activities related to (i) Capacity Development for SME Clusters / Networks; (ii) Trade and Investment Promotion through Public and Private Partnerships (PPP), and (iii) Strengthening BDS providers.

Project Components

The project has three components plus one preparatory and M&E part.

Component A - Capacity Development for SME Clusters / Networks

Conduct a modular training program on SME cluster development, export consortia formation and value chain integration assisting SME clusters in penetrating into regional and global markets. It is expected that 38 leaders of local production groups, SME associations, provincial SME promotion offices, and Chamber of Commerce an Industries (CCIs) from CMTV participate in this capacity building program. They then apply the newly acquired skills and tools to benefit over 1,000 SMEs on SEC.

Component B - Trade and Investment Promotion through PPP

Actively involve public and private sectors in organizing a series of trade and investment promotion events and utilization of web-based SEC profiles and SME database to attract regional and international investors.

Component C - Strengthening BDS Providers

Intends to enhance the capability of BDS providers in delivering demand-oriented business development, trade and investment services.

Preparatory and Monitoring and Evaluation Part

In addition to the above three components, activities for project preparatory, monitoring and evaluation are also implemented. These include: a) baseline study; b) value chain mapping and analysis; c) annual and end-of-project monitoring and evaluation; d) Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meetings; and e) annual and end-of-project audit.

Project Provinces

The project covers 19 provinces comprising of 8 on the Central Sub-Corridor and 11 on the Coastal Sub-Corridor of SEC connecting CMTV, excluding the capital and mega cities. These provinces have been chosen in line with the criteria: (i) less developed status; (ii) strategic locations promoting inter and intra trade along the sub-corridors; and (iii) industrial development potentials.

SEC Corridors and Provinces
SEC Countries SEC Corridors and Provinces
Central Sub-Corridor Southern Costal Sub-Corridor
  • Banteay Meancheay
  • Battanbang
  • Pursat
  • Kampong Chhnang
  • Svay Rieng
  • Koh Kong
  • Kampot
  • Preah Sihanouk
Myanmar Tanithayi Region / Dawei
  • Prachinburi
  • Sa-Kaeo
  • Kanchnaburi
  • Ratchaburi
  • Chanthaburi
  • Trat
  • Tay Ninh
  • Kien Giang
  • Can Tho
  • Ca Mau
Map of Southern Economic Corridors and Provinces
Map of six member countries

Target Beneficiaries

Farmers-led business enterprises, local producers, processors, traders on rural and border towns of SEC are direct beneficiaries of the project.

Four key target groups:

  1. Local production groups/associations
  2. SMEs clusters/ Business networks
  3. Provincial and Boarder Government Officials and
  4. Chambers of Commerce and Industry and business associations

Project Team

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta


Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department, Mekong Institute (MI)

Mr. Quan Anh Nguyen

Program Specialist

Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department, Mekong Institute (MI)

Mr. Sa-nga Sattanun

Program Manager

Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department, Mekong Institute (MI)

Mr. Toru Hisada

Senior Project Coordinator

Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department, Mekong Institute (MI)

Mr. Seang Sopheak

Project Coordinator

Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department, Mekong Institute (MI)

Ms. Sasiporn Phuphaploy

Program Assistant

Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) Department, Mekong Institute (MI)