Rattan, bamboo SMEs need financial assistance to reach more external markets

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Women making stylish rattan chair for the domestic market. 
Photo: Htet Myat

Rattan and bamboo SMEs are facing financial constraints in efforts to reach more external markets, said a rattan and bamboo maker, adding that at present, some producers are relying solely on the domestic market — providing hampers for City Mart Holdings and furniture to local markets.
“If the related department can help us explore foreign markets and provide technical and financial assistance to SMEs, the rattan and bamboo production sector might improve,” the rattan and bamboo maker added.
At present, Myanmar exports furniture made of bamboo, rattan, and wood to markets in the U.S., the Republic of Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and the EU countries. Traders earn over US$20 million annually from the export of these products, according to the Myanmar Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneurs Association.
“The income from bamboo, rattan, and wood exports has fetched $20 million. Yet, earning should have increased. In 30 to 40 years back, Myanmar exported teak logs and raw materials as the country was weak in infrastructure. There are over 700 rattan and bamboo companies in Viet Nam.
However, Myanmar has 30 to 40 value-added rattan and bamboo enterprises. We need to make efforts to increase the number of value-added producers and help their businesses grow,” said U Kyaw Thu, the chair of the Myanmar Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneurs Association.
It jointly held the Myanmar International Furniture Expo with the Wood-based Furniture Association biannually, with a view to boost Myanmar’s furniture industry, promote shift to value-added production, create jobs, alleviate poverty, improve import-substitution businesses, encourage value-added producers, hold international furniture expos beyond the domestic market, and upgrade technology by linking with international producers.—Htet Myat (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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