To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, January 22, 2007

ANZ and SMEC Initiative helps small and medium enterprise owners

A new initiative taken by the Solomon Islands ANZ Bank in opening its doors to members of the Small and Medium Enterprises Council (SMEC) for two days is the first of its kind in the country.

A total of 24 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) have been given the opportunity to meet with the Managers of treasury and lending on the evenings of the 17th and today.

The Small & Medium Enterprises Council of Solomon Islands (SMEC) was established in 2003 to promote, stimulate and facilitate the economic development of Solomon Islands through export. It is currently being administered by North Malaitans, Leliana Daowana Firisua (Technical Advisor) and Michael Sheppard Maena (Chairman). Since its establishment SMEC membership has continued to grow and to-date the number is thirty six.

According to Chairman Michael Maena, the trade meeting allows SMEC membership to meet face to face with managers of the ANZ bank and share with them the needs of their businesses or difficulties encountered and possible remedial solutions.

A participant, Moffat Misikui of Winway Company also applauded the ANZ bank for taking this initiative to allow Solomon Islanders such a unique opportunity where small and medium buiness owners can openly discuss their plans and challenges. Miskui added that in the past they can only talk to loans officers down the ladder and usually when business owners have difficulties, there is no avenue to meet and explain to the bank heads.

The arrangement for the bank (ANZ/SMEC) came about following discussions in November last year. It was agreed that this trade meeting between the Bank and SMEC membership will be on a quarterly basis.

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