Polye: Small enterprises road to devt

Business, Main Stories

THE development of small-to-medium and micro enterprises should now be seen as the road to developing any economy.
Speaking at the 18th Asia Pacific economic co-operation (Apec) leaders meeting last week in Yokohama, Japan, Works Minister Don Polye told participants that SMEs and MEs were the best and only way for any economy and a regionally integrated economy to develop these from within.
“These are the best tools available to facilitate and empower the participation of our people in regional economy building.
“I don’t see how we can achieve the “Bogor goals” without our people’s active involvement in business and trade,” Polye said.
In 1994, Apec leaders announced in Bogor, Indonesia, to commit to achieve free and open trade and investment by this year  for industrialised economies and by 2020 for developing economies, which later became known as the “Bogor goal”.
Polye referred to efforts currently underway to strengthen systems within the National Development Bank and commerce and industry to develop this sector.
“We have created a micro-finance programme and have already began the process of introducing a soft-loan facility at the national bank. 
“We have introduced land reforms particularly with respect to customary lands so that more land is freed-up for business and investment,” he said.
Polye pointed out that the issues confronting the development of this sector needed to be addressed for progress to be made.
These include capacity, infrastructure, human capital, structured reforms and financing.
He further challenged the industrialised countries to help developing countries by guiding development partners and financial institutions like World Bank, ADB, IMF, Apec and others who can assist the smaller economies.
Polye argued that unless an economy is empowered from within, it could not  be a successful participant or assist to drive and achieve a regionally integrated economy.