Burmese SMEs gain support from Sheffield Chamber
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has embarked on a landmark partnership to provide business support to enterprises in Burma.
The £2m ‘Switch Asia’ project is an EU-funded scheme, headed up by German government economic development body SEQUA, and is thought to be one of the first global partnerships with Burma for a number of years.
Following Burma’s recent democratic elections, Sheffield Chamber hopes to help the country’s garment and textile industry to launch itself on to an international platform.
The Chamber will work with Burmese SMEs and partners involved in the scheme for three years, starting from April 2013.
Burma’s Chambers of Commerce will also receive support from the Sheffield Chamber alongside businesses inside the country.
Richard Wright, executive director of the Sheffield Chamber, commented: “The principle aim of the Switch Asia business support programme is to allow Burma to compete with India, Cambodia and Vietnam within the textiles industry.
“However, businesses must first meet certain criteria to sell goods abroad, including meeting health and safety requirements, suitable working practices and implementing good practice in environmental issues, such as waste management and energy saving.
“We have got involved because of the contacts we are making to support our export growth across a number of sectors, but also because we can use this to get contacts and business for a number of our members.
“Asia is one of the regions predicted to deliver significant growth over the next few years and they will want to buy products that we make here in the Sheffield City Region. Lots of other European countries seem to be there so it’s time we went and got a bit of the action.”