'Support SMEs'

The Fiji Times:

Friday, 30 October 2015

Pacific economies are primarily driven by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are the main source of private sector employment creation.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor said MSMEs many of which were operating in the informal sector and contributing very significantly to the economy needed support.

Ms Taylor has also encouraged established businesses to support the nascent entities that were having a positive impact at the grassroots level.

"Whether is it a group of women who are producing local food, a community producing honey, or youth creating cultural items ? they all need an outlet through which their products can be distributed," she said.

"I urge businesses in the region to look out for these types of MSME operators and assist them in their businesses."

Ms Taylor said such operators provided employment in rural areas where formal employment might be scarce.

"And as such, spread economic benefits to the people at grassroots levels," she said.

She encouraged businesses to think of markets beyond local boundaries and said in relative terms, markets on the islands were small and may not always provide the desired economies of scale for optimal profitability.

"That is why we need to actively seek the best options to grow our markets. Many MSMEs in the Pacific region have a range of products that can be part of the regional or global value chain and need support to market their products and services outside the local networks.

"As the Pacific engages in deeper regional integration, MSMEs need to be able to take advantage of the bigger markets that are created through the subregional and regional trade agreements. The time is right for the MSMEs to indicate what facilitative measures can assist them in their growth."

Read story: The Fiji Times

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