MBI MIDTERM EVALUATION
Author: Mekong Business Initiative
Publication Date: 2017
The Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government jointly launched the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) in 2015. MBI catalyzes private sector development in emerging Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets, focusing on Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV). The program aims to improve the business-enabling environment in CLMV countries with a particular focus on business advocacy, alternative finance, and innovation.
Overall the impact of MBI in the CLMV countries has been largely successful. Instead of planning, they created a framework for implementation. Initiatives would be driven by public and private partners, where MBI could select activities that were most closely aligned with their three pillars: improved public–private dialogue on private sector development (PSD) policies and regulation, increased financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and supporting the growth of a dynamic innovation ecosystem.
Detailed in this report, in the opinion of the compiler, MBI could improve certain aspects of its implementation. Including but not limited to, the increased centralization of management systems, higher monitoring of KPI’s, improvement of gender-specific indicators at specified levels, and leveraging ADB’s brand to build strategic partnerships with financial institutions. These partnerships can further complement their pillars of financial inclusion, business advocacy, and innovation, creating a sustainable future for this project.