Senior Minister Harris calls for special support for local small and medium sized sector

Senior Minister Timothy Harris

ZIZ News…Feb 26 2011 – Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Senior Minister and Minister of Industry and Commerce has made an impassioned appeal for special consideration to be given to small and medium size entities in the country.

Dr Harris said the small and medium size entities need to be better mainstreamed into the economic growth policy development of the country.

Industry and Commerce Minister said that “while there are growth opportunities for the small and medium size enterprises to grow, there is need for a special dispensation of support to help the barber, the hairdresser, the designer, the guesthouse operator, trucker, taxi man, farmers, etc participate meaningfully in the economic life. We have to as we welcome large entities like Marriott and Christophe Harbour ensure that relationships are reinforcing the growth of the small and medium entities. Large foreign entities must come to our country with a disposition to help our small businesses, our agri processors, our farmers, our retailers, designers, and manufacturers” the Industry Minister said.

Our model of economic development must be inclusive, catering to large, small, micro, and medium economies. We have to ensure that growth, when it comes, will benefit the widest cross section of the national community.

Dr Harris was at the time speaking at the Economic Growth Forum organized by the government at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesday, February 23, 2011.

Dr Harris spoke to the challenges and opportunities facing the small medium sized sector.

Among the challenges identified were:

1. Difficulties in accessing finance and credit on manageable terms;
2. Weakness management;
3. Small size of domestic market and unpreparedness of small and medium size entities to enter into foreign markets;
4. Absence of export credit insurance for local manufacturers; and
5. High operational costs

The Senior Minister went on to identify some measures undertaken by the government to assist in overcoming the challenges. These measures include establishing the National Enterprise Development Division (NEDD), and the passage of the Small Business Development Act (2009). The Minister said across a range of support areas, more resources were required and these commitments have to be made not only at the level of the individual entity but also at the level of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and government.

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