Upgrading a corridor of opportunity

08:30 | 18/03/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - Provinces and companies located along the 1,450km East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) running from Myanmar through Laos and Cambodia to Vietnam, have started building and updating their databases.  

The updating project and e-commerce promotion were presented at a recent workshop in the city of Dong Ha in Quang Tri Province. According to Nguyen Huu Hung, Deputy Director of the provincial department of industry and trade, the workshop was aimed at boosting cooperation among provinces located along the EWEC in e-commerce development to enhance business competitiveness.

Sa-nga Sattanun, Program Manager of the Trade and Investment Facilitation Department of the Mekong Institute, said that the database initiative was launched in 2012. With support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund, the databases are being built with the help of the national chambers of commerce of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, the departments of industry and trade of 11 provinces located along the EWEC, and the Mekong Sub-region Business Forum.

The databases consist of profiles of the provinces and more than 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They are designed to provide opportunities for SMEs to seek new customers and markets through e-commerce, thus promoting regional integration. To make the most of the databases, however, it is necessary to enhance their functions and stability, according to speakers at the workshop.

Among the provinces involved in the initiative are Khammouane (Laos) and Kakhon Phanom (Thailand), Bang Kayin (Myanmar) and Tak (Thailand), Savannakhet (Laos) and Quang Tri (Vietnam).

Quang Tri Province is aware that it can benefit from such a database. Nguyen Huu Hung said that an action plan and joint efforts of all parties concerned are crucial to the collection of business data and e-commerce development. The province will continue to build its business database, while identifying SMEs that can take part in the Mekong Institute’s e-commerce initiative, and proposing measures to boost cross-border trade between Quang Tri, Savannakhet and other provinces along the EWEC.

The compilation of data about the businesses along the corridor is designed to encourage SMEs to improve their capabilities and seek cooperation from other businesses to carry out trading activities online.

Tran Minh Tich