To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Small and Medium Enterprises Council (SMEC) to open its first business development centre in Auki.

The Small and Medium Enterprises Council (SMEC) will open its first small business development centre next month. SMEC technical director Leliana Firisua said the small business development centre (SBDC) is one of SMEC’s short-term strategy for a network of SBDCs throughout the country.

Mr Firisua said already they have secured an office in Auki - making Malaita Province the first province to have a SBDC. The Malaita SBDC will be opened next month after the National Trade Show and Independence celebrations.

Meanwhile, Mr Firisua is currently attending a four-week training and study attachment in Israel. This study runs through the structure of SME system in Israel starting with visits to the Israel Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (ISMEA) which is the Central SME support system in Israel followed by studies and attachments to a line of 24 SBDCs that link to ISMEA plus visits to the SME businesses throughout Israel both individual SME’s to cooperative Kibbutz that are widespread throughout the country.

According to Mr. Firisua SMEC is entering in to a new relationship with ISMEA and with Jerusalem SBDC to allow the council to immediately translate the Israel experience and system Solomon Islands. He said the SME systems in Israel can be adopted easily in Solomon Islands.

This can include, rural based SME industrial parks, hi-tech industrial parks, and industrial education centres (pre-schools, primary and secondary school pupils) which is called the Think Industry.

The technical director said Solomon Islands SME development and SME challenges to contribute effectively to economic development in the Country is similar to Israel.
“The Israel Government is very supportive to our council’s search for a perfect SME system and as a Solomon Islander I was truly honour when I as an ordinary citizen was met by the Israel Ambassador to Solomon Islands Dr. Michael Ronen at the Ben Gurion International Airport and follow up meeting in Jerusalem with the Deputy Director of the Asia Pacific section Hagai Shagrir,” Mr Firisua said.

Mr Firisua said Mr Shagrir had informed him that Israel appreciated very much Solomon Islands Government’s support of Israel in Geneva recently on a World Trade Organisation (WTO) resolution in which our country stood with Israel with another six Israel friendly nations.

All the other pacific island nations abstained.“At the council we believe this support by the Sogavare Government to the people and state of Israel is not only biblical but a divine step forward to developing a strong trade relationship with the State of Israel,” the technical director said. Mr Firisua will finalise linkages with the relevant SME organisations in Israel this week and returns to the country on June 24.

Source: Solomon star newspaper.

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