The government needs to undertake more efforts to strengthen and develop the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector, focusing especially on expanding their access to finance and improving market access.
Economist Cielito Habito said SME strengthening and development, which is among the pillars of inclusive growth and poverty reduction, can be declared as centerpiece of economic program for government.
“That would include expanding the access to finance of MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises); so financial inclusion which the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) is now championing,” he said during the culminating poverty reduction workshop.
The BSP launched in July a document outlining the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) aimed at expanding presence of a wide range of financial products and services that serve different market segments, such as MSMEs.
Habito noted that improving market access of SMEs is likewise imperative through infrastructure, e-commerce and development diplomacy by the country’s missions abroad.
“Rather than just engaged in political diplomacy, they ought to be also looking for market opportunities abroad especially for our (local) enterprises,” he said.
The economist also underscored the need to strengthen technology assistance through public research and development (R&D) and shared service facilities.
He said SME clustering and “coopetition” should be also fostered.
“Because of the need for economies of scale to be able to engage in the export markets, the inclusive value chain is being practiced by certain big businesses that deliberately choose to source their inputs from small producers… Therefore, you also have a good reason for small enterprises, the small producers to be strengthened symbiotically with large businesses,” he added. (PHILEXPORT News and Features)
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