ADB Promotes Trade and Cross-border Investment between SMEs in the GMS and India

Motorcycle tires being manufactured inside the Camel Rubber Vietnam Co. Ltd factory at the Lao Bao Commercial Area in Huong Hoa District, Quang Tri, Viet Nam. The tires produced by the company are sold locally and are also exported to Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand, European and South American countries, as well as to other countries in the ASEAN region. Photo by the Asian Development Bank.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $3,000,000 technical assistance to support the implementation of initiatives to accelerate trade and cross-border investment between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam—member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) program—and India. This ADB-administered technical assistance is financed by the United Kingdom Fund for Asia Regional Trade and Connectivity under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility. It supports ADB’s Strategy 2030 of fostering regional cooperation and integration.  

There is huge potential to further boost trade and cross-border investment between GMS countries and India because of their close geographical, historical, and cultural linkages. India's Act East policy promotes economic cooperation, cultural ties, and strategic relationships with countries in Asia and the Pacific. India sees the GMS as its gateway to the rest of Southeast Asia. Closer integration with Cambodia, Thailand, and Viet Nam opens export diversification opportunities for India, as well as potential linkages to global value chains in East Asia. The Indian market offers GMS countries a large and growing market and a source of foreign direct investment. 

Enhancing SME involvement with global markets will allow them to contribute more significantly to economic development, job creation, and social well-being. This technical assistance is designed to help SMEs take their business on the international platform by opening access to quality infrastructure, providing a good enabling environment, and boosting their capacity.  

Outputs of the technical assistance include:  

  • Establishing and/or partnering with business accelerators in India and the GMS to identify SMEs with the potential to internationalize; and providing the identified SMEs with a composite package including information on opportunities, industry expertise, mentoring, and guidance on market entry issues to assist their internationalization;  
  • Supporting linkages between business associations and/or organizations promoting SME internationalization; and  
  • Supporting linkages between business accelerators and financial intermediaries by bringing together SMEs and specialized financial institutions. 

The technical assistance will target GMS-India internationalization, as well as SMEs led and owned by women.  

Last Updated: 20 January 2020