‘MSMEs Are A Vital Part In The Economy’

“MSMEs are vulnerable to shocks from disasters affecting their growth and survival,” said Mr MatosLopez.
08 Nov 2022 16:00
‘MSMEs Are A Vital Part In The Economy’
Stakeholders and participants that are attending the weeklong DRR for Sustainable Agricultural Export Value Chains regional workshop at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi on November 7, 2022.

Micro, Small and Medium- Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Pacific economies account for over 97 percent of all enterprises and are a vital part of the economy.

European Union (EU) Programme Manager, Economic Cooperation and Agriculture, Alejandro MatosLopez made this comment while delivering the opening remarks at the regional workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for Sustainable Agricultural Export Value Chains at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi yesterday.

The workshop, which is funded by the EU through the Safe Agriculture Trade Facilitation through Economic Integration in the Pacific (SAFE Pacific) project, brings together key actors along the Agricultural Export Value Chains from the Pacific to understand the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies in place.


In his address, Mr MatosLopez said MSMEs created income for their households and families where they also provided jobs and supply chain opportunities.

He said the workshop aimed to understand challenges and risks faced by MSMEs and identify measures and strategies to mitigate and reduce risks which would allow for more sustainable agricultural export value chains.

“MSMEs are vulnerable to shocks from disasters affecting their growth and survival,” said Mr MatosLopez.

“We are all aware that the Pacific region is prone to natural disasters like tropical cyclones, floods and volcanic eruptions, however, natural disasters are not the single risk for the enterprises – access to financial crisis, and logistics issues also affect the normal production and productivity.”

He said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 89 per cent of businesses in the Pacific which were mostly MSMEs had adverse effects from the pandemic.


Markets for Livelihoods Programme Manager, Land Resources Division, The Pacific Community (SPC), Viliami Kami said SPC’s mandate was to lead and coordinate disaster risk management capacity building in the Pacific and also promote responses to climate change.

Mr Kami said the meeting was a timely one as the members currently faced the different dilemmas following the pandemic and the impact of the Ukraine war.

“The Land Resources Division remains committed to working with our member countries in strengthening resilient sustainable agricultural value chains, one of the backbones to Pacific livelihoods,” he said.

The weeklong meeting will see participants and stakeholders discuss DRR strategies in response to the global supply chain disruptions brought about by the pandemic and other socioeconomic disturbances in the region.

The meeting concludes this Friday.


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