Friday, March 20, 2009

(HERALD) Govt plans to develop SMEs

Govt plans to develop SMEs
Business Reporter

GOVERNMENT is planning to develop industrial, marketing clusters and special zones to facilitate coherent development in the small and medium enterprise business sector.

According to the Short Term Economic Recovery Programme, these clusters and special zones will assist particularly SMEs to mobilise bank finance, group marketing, bulk sourcing of raw materials, quality control and access to other business development services.

Government will ensure that the Small Enterprises Development Corporation will be adequately recapitalised in order to play its role of financing, training and providing incubation to SMEs.

The financial sector will also be mobilised to provide financial loans in order to improve product design and technology, common branding, marketing, research and development activities.

Special zones will be targeted at attracting investment to specially identified sectors of the economy for enhanced productivity and growth.

The specially designated zones will take account of proximity to critical amenities such as roads, rail, and air transport, as well as water among other facilities.

The maintenance of such infrastructure will also be prioritised.

In order to support the policy formulation process and provide clarity on the role and contribution of SMEs to the economic growth and development of the country, the Government will carry out a census of SMEs.

The information attained from the census will be used to create a database covering a wide range of issues such as the spread, concentration and number of SMEs, employment, product varieties and all other relevant economic indicators including their contribution to overall economic growth.

Development partners and key stakeholders will be part of this project.

The relationship between small, medium and large-scale enterprises will be fostered through incentives to enable small firms to access mentorship from large firms.

Such linkages will range from supply contracts and other sub-contracting activities to joint ventures.

Government will support the establishment of a Business Links Office, which will offer advice, information, training and such other business support services for purposes of facilitating these linkages. This would go a long way towards supporting investment and growth in small to medium enterprises.

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