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CESD Economic Reforms Working Paper No. 1/2016 Myanmar SMEs’ Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Economic Integration – with a Focus on Processed Food and Apparel Manufacturing Thomas Bernhardt, S Kanay De and Giles Dickenson-Jones
Centre for Economic and Social Development No. (27), Pyay Road, 6½ Mile, Hlaing Township, Yangon, Myanmar August 2016 Cover photo credit: Aung Myo Min, CESD Disclaimer: The views expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Economic and Social Development, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) or the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies - Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).
CESD Economic Reforms Working Paper No. 1/2016 Myanmar SMEs’ Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Economic Integration – with a Focus on Processed Food and Apparel Manufacturing Thomas Bernhardt, S Kanay De and Giles Dickenson-Jones August 2016 Key words: Myanmar, SMEs, regional economic integration, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), regional production networks JEL Codes: F15, F63, O14, O24, O53 Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Dr. Zaw Oo for his overall guidance on this research and Aung Phyo Kyaw, Aung Thet Paing, Mi Win Thida, Phoo Pwint Phyu, Tun Min Sandar, Thandar Soe and Thant Zin Tun for their invaluable support in implementing the enterprise survey and in processing the data collected. The authors are also grateful to the project coordinators and to participants at ERIA/ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute workshops in Singapore and Bali for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this report. Thanks are also due to Kerry Baker for editing the paper. All remaining errors are ours. This research was made possible by the financial support of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies - Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) and it was carried out within the framework of an ERIA/ISEAS project on “SME Participation in ASEAN and East Asian Regional Economic Integration”.
Contents 1 Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................... 1 2 Myanmar’s historical and macroeconomic context ............................................................................. 7 3 Myanmar’s trade and investment relations with the world, ASEAN and the East Asia region .......... 10 3.1 Myanmar’s trade performance in the recent past ..................................................................... 10 3.2 Myanmar’s trade with ASEAN ..................................................................................................... 11 3.3 Decomposing Myanmar’s ASEAN and East Asian trade ............................................................. 15 3.4 Myanmar’s trade agreements and preferential market access .................................................. 19 3.5 ASEAN and East Asian investment in Myanmar ......................................................................... 21 4 SMEs in the world, in the region and in Myanmar: Some quick facts ................................................ 24 4.1 The role of SMEs in a country’s economy ................................................................................... 24 4.2 Definition of SMEs in Myanmar and elsewhere ......................................................................... 25 4.3 Availability of information on SMEs in Myanmar: Registries and surveys ................................. 26 5 Characteristics of SMEs: General and in Myanmar ............................................................................. 29 5.1 General characteristics and heterogeneity of SMEs ................................................................... 29 5.2 Sectoral distribution of SMEs in Myanmar ................................................................................. 31 5.3 Levels of registration and informality of Myanmar firms ........................................................... 32 5.4

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