Accepted paper:

Governance of global value chains, state and small businesses: the case of timber in Myanmar


Neda Trifkovic (University of Copenhagen)
Paula Castro (University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

We use the case of the timber sector in Myanmar to analyse how national regulatory framework and international ecological discourses affect small businesses.

Paper long abstract:

Myanmar's forest cover is still the largest in the Asia-Pacific region, but under a serious threat of deforestation. In 2016, a temporary national logging ban was put in place to counteract years of over-exploitation. The ban extends to timber production in the private sector, leaving the government's Myanmar Timber Enterprise as the only permitted producer of logs. Private enterprises can purchase these logs for processing. At the same time, the international community advocates for improved forest governance with a huge emphasis on timber legality.

Within this context, we analyse the regulatory framework under which enterprises in the wood industry operate and how international ecological discourses affect forest management and private business from the wood industry in Myanmar. In particular, how does the state absorb and apply to policy these requirements, while so many smaller businesses depend on timber to survive? Providing answers to these questions will improve our understanding of the role of national policies in shaping the wood value chain. It will also reveal implications of national policies to protect the environment and limit production for the livelihoods of enterprise owners and employees in the wood industry.

To achieve these objectives, we will use data from a survey of small and medium manufacturing enterprises in Myanmar conducted in 2017 and in-depth interviews with enterprise owners and other value chain actors conducted across country in 2018.

panel H5
Global value chains, the state and the political economy of development