SI Government supports Small and Medium Enterprise trade fair initiative
The government regards the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) as of paramount importance because it is a catalyst to enhancing and creating a more stable social system and greater degree of national cohesiveness.
The Hon Minister of National Planning and Aid Coordination and Acting Minister of Finance and Treasury Hon. Gordon Darcy Lilo made the remarks yesterday when he officially opened the ‘Techmart 2006’, the country’s first ever trade fair organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises Council of Solomon Islands which is expected to run for a week at the SIPEU Grounds, Townground, Honiara.
Mr Lilo said, the objectives and the purpose of trade fair was fully supported by the government, and encouraged the organizers to continue with the initiative in the future.
“As we progress and advance in our development aspirations, you have seen it appropriate to actively facilitate the promotion of your products and services not only for the benefit of those of us in Honiara but the nation and the region as well.
He said, the government has provided funds for program because it is obliged and willingly agreed to contribute to a ‘worthwhile program’.
“Small and Medium Enterprises development plays a critical role in any developing country. Usually SME’s constitute more than 50% of all established enterprises. They are normally the largest employers and produce a variety of goods and services.
The development of SME’s therefore must be fully acknowledged as a vehicle for enhancing rural and regional growth within our economy.
“My government fully subscribes to and recognizes the importance of SME development. In our policy strategy for rural and urban growth, my government has placed high priority and attention in addressing the potentials of SME within our economy,” Hon. Lilo said.
He said SME’s provide added values to local products and raw materials, thus contributing to the growth of Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Mr Lilo says the government recognizes that there are impediments to the growth of SME’s. However, he assured the participants at the trade fair that the government fully recognizes the issues facing SME’s, such as the absence of appropriate legislations to support SME’s, high tax charges, excessive control and compliance requirements, low level of technology and inadequate support and access to market.
He said the government is highly determined to address these tasks to fulfil its policy for equal development and the promotion of enterpreneurship.
Chairman of Techmart 2006, Lency Teobasi said the trade fair is aimed at helping businesses and entrepreneurs market promote and market local products and services through technology, adding that a website to showcase the products and services at the trade fair will also be launched on Thursday this week.
Mr Teobasi says, Solomon Islands economical growth depends on SME’s because at a smaller scale, family unit producing small products such as honey, coffee, kava etc will not meet the larger obstacles usually associated with projects using foreign investor capital.
He added by concentrating on domestic investment using the SME sector, Solomon Islanders who own 90 percent of the resources in the country can contribute, equally share and control the growth of the economy of the country.