Government promotes MSMEs-A A +A
Thursday, July 19, 2012
SEEING the huge potential for contribution by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMs) to the country’s economic activity, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to promote entrepreneurship to put MSMEs in the mainstream.
DTI regional operations and development group Undersecretary Merly Cruz the department will help empower MSMEs to participate in the local and global supply chain and involve these enterprises in increasing the export base.
“We hope to see growth emanating from the grassroots instead of waiting for growth to trickle down,” Cruz said during the 1st National Conference of MSME Development Councils in Marco Polo Hotel Cebu yesterday.
Cruz said they will pursue the development of MSMEs as these comprise 99.6 percent of all business establishments in the country and contribute two-thirds of total employment and 36 percent of gross value added.
She said that under the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, MSMEs are expected to generate two million jobs and contribute 40 percent of gross value added.
“The focus on MSME is critical, and thus, a priority. Putting MSMEs at the forefront is addressing the matter of poverty squarely as this brings down the benefits of economic growth to the community level…and puts premium on our goal to generate jobs and bring food on the table,” she said.
Cruz said the Private Sector Promotion Program, a joint undertaking with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in the Visayas that is expected to be completed this year, has helped the DTI empower MSMEs in the region through the private sector development approach.
Cruz also announced a new approach is assisting MSMEs, through the SME Plus Development for Inclusive Growth, which calls for the “creation of an enabling business environment and provision of government assistance that is felt at the grassroots.”
Cruz said the DTI will be working with government agencies and local government units in developing MSMEs.
Cruz said the DTI has also embarked on a project called the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP), which seeks to prioritize industries like agri-based products, tourism and environment, ICT-enabled services along with other support industries that have high potential to be regionally and globally competitive.
Niccep is a three-year technical assistance project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
To further assist MSMEs, Cruz said the government will address the access to small enterprise finance, which has “remained flat from 2001 to 2010.”
She said a memorandum of agreement on revitalized MSME Financing Program was signed on Wednesday between the DTI, other government agencies and financial institutions to address the unique needs of micro-enterprises for access to credit, cut red tape and enable MSMEs to acquire short and long-term loans.
Cruz also said the Financial Executives Institute also launched its web portal to provide entrepreneurs an alternative opportunity to access financing.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 20, 2012.