Caption: Commerce & Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris stresses a point at the swearing-in of SBDC board members
Commerce & Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 emphasised the important role that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) played in the development of
He said, during the swearing in of new board members of the Small Business Development Corporation, that the importance of SMEs should not be understated.
“SMEs play a very significant role in creation of a dynamic private sector, referred to as the ‘engine room’ for economic growth, to sustain livelihood by creating employment opportunities and eradicating poverty,” Mr Kapris said.
“I am determined to ensure SBDC continues to contribute immensely to the development of the SME sector with the current new board appointed.
“SME development will increase any country’s economic growth and independence, which will lead to reducing poverty through income-earning opportunities, sustaining livelihood and empowering people to be involved in small scale business and self-reliance.”
He said his ministry would continue to address constraints under the SME Policy which were globally-common such as human resource development, access to information, market, finance, women in business, technology and business infrastructure.
Mr Kapris said since taking up office 12 months ago, he was building team work with other corporate statutory authorities under his ministry to work as a united team to implement major government policies and projects that would impact upon and bring lasting changes to the country.
This will mean institutions such as SBDC promoting growth of SMEs, Industrial Centres Development Corporation (ICDC) to provide facilities, Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) to promote and market SME products offshore and National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology (NISIT) to address quality and standard issues.
“There are still challenges of properly co-ordinating these mechanisms,” Mr Kapris said,
“The ministry has taken on the challenges in liaison with the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders through various workshops and forums, resulting in resolutions and strategic plans in place to take courses of action, namely review the SME Policy, working in partnership with the private sector and establishing a central co-ordinating centre for SME development and growth.”