The joint six-year project between MI and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims to contribute to the increased local economic development and more inclusive, equitable growth of communities and provinces situated along the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC). To achieve this goal, the project aims to enhance the capacity of four target groups from commercial nodes situated along EWEC in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam including: 1) farmers groups/associations; 2) SMEs clusters/biz networks; 3) government officials engaged or related to local economic development; and 4) business development service providers.
In 2013, the first pilot phase of the project was implemented in six twin cities in six provinces along the corridor (one twin city in each province on either side of the border). These sites are Thakek and Nakhon Phanom in Khammoune (Lao PDR) and Nakhon Phanom (Thailand) provinces respectively, Lao Bao and Dan Savanh in Quangtri (Vietnam) and Savannakhet (Lao PDR) provinces respectively, and Myewaddy and Maesot in Kayin State (Myanmar) and Tak (Thailand) provinces respectively. Additionally, MI also set up field offices in Myewaddy, Nakhon Phanom, and Dong Ha to serve as focal points for field implementation of the various phases of the project.