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Batiweti: More Consultations Needed With Key Stakeholders In MSMEs Sector

The 2021 – 2022 Post Budget and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Recovery Talanoa virtual session hosted by the Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation (FCEF) on Tuesday was a
05 Aug 2021 12:00
Batiweti: More Consultations Needed With Key Stakeholders In MSMEs Sector
The 2021-2022 post Budget and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Recovery Talanoa virtual session over Zoom.

The 2021 – 2022 Post Budget and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Recovery Talanoa virtual session hosted by the Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation (FCEF) on Tuesday was a success.

This post budget consultations follows through with FCEF’s role in being an advocate for employers and the private sector.

The talanoa session was in collaboration with with Fiji Enterprise Engine (FEE), FCEF, Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council (WEBC) and Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC). FCEF chief executive officer Kameli Batiweti said: “Every year the Federation invites submissions from members that are consolidated and submitted by the Federation to the Ministry of Economy.

“This is inclusive of submissions made by those represented in the MSME sector councils within FCEF which are the Women Entrepreneurs & Business Council (WEBC) and the Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC).

“The Federation hosts a post budget consultation every year with the Honourable Minister for Economy providing insights for members on what is addressed in the budget.

“This year the MSME sector councils WEBC, YEC and the Federations Business Accelerator program the Fiji Enterprise Engine (FEE) proposed for a post budget consultation themed around the 2021 Budget and MSME Recovery.

“The objective was to use the network within FCEF and have a panel of speakers talk on what the 2021 Budget would mean for MSMEs, highlighting big ticket items, legislation changes, assistance initiatives and many more needed to know key items for those in the MSME sector to be aware of.”

Over 80 participants in the session, consisting of members from WEBC, YEC, FEE and interested participants from FCEF networks.

Mr Batiweti highlighted that there were a lot of questions raised around e-commerce platforms and some rigid issues that made it unfavourable for MSMEs, online payment platforms.

“Also on issues that constrain the ability for MSMEs to expand to markets abroad due to some of these online platforms not being available or restricted in Fiji.

“One other key concern was access to finance and understanding the guidelines around these guidelines, such as the initiative through the Reserve Bank of Fiji and the financing institutions/ banks.”

 

The 2021-2022 post Budget and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Recovery Talanoa virtual session over Zoom .

The 2021-2022 post Budget and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Recovery Talanoa virtual session over Zoom .

More consultations:
The key takeaway, Mr Batiweti said, was the need for more consultations with key stakeholders to clarify and arrive at some solutions that are a win-win for all.

“The Federation is working on a summary of issues discussed and finding key focus areas through which they will reach out to relevant stakeholders to have another forum for MSMEs.

“The Federation is dedicated to ensuring we address the needs of all our members and especially those in the MSME sector that have felt the brunt of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

“MSME recovery has been a key area of focus for the Federation amongst other work for the corporate sector that we have been involved in.

“So yes we will have follow up sessions to this consultation.

“FCEF, through the FEE, YEC and WEBC have been at the forefront in the work to support MSMEs and moreso, through our COVID response programmes.

“We have data that support the work that we have done and through our partners in the International Labour Organization (ILO), Market Development Facility (MDF), USAID, Fiji Women’s Fund,” Mr Batiweti said.

“We have extensively worked in trying to address issues faced by those in the MSME sector through free business advisories, subsidised services to those in our MSME sector councils.

“Collaboration with ILO and Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) for business training services for those affected by covid pandemic and have lost jobs and venturing into entrepreneurship amongst many more.”

 

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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