SME Policy to be reviewed

14 Oct 2013 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 14 OCT (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Trade and Industry is in the process of reviewing the existing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Policy and related programmes to ensure the effectiveness of the SME sector.
Trade Minister Calle Schlettwein announced this on Monday during the launch of Namibia's SME Policy review here.
Schlettwein explained that the review will catalogue all the shortcomings existing in the old policy which include the definition of SMEs.
“The current definition of SMEs is too narrow and not inclusive of all small business categories that exist in our economy,” he said, adding that there is a need for a single or common classification of the various categories of small businesses in the country and the corresponding requisite interventions.
He noted that the current policy has not provided for a proper coordination and a monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and as a result, there are multiple and often duplicating SME support initiatives.
The support for SMEs is being carried out by various institutions in government and the private sector, and an integrated approach as required under the National Development Plan Four (NDP4) and the Industrial Policy is needed to reduce over-laps and wastage of resources.
The review will be spearheaded by a technical team consisting of technical members from relevant ministries, agencies and the Bank of Namibia, assisted by technical experts.
The minister then called on SMEs, and the private and public sectors to participate and contribute relevant ideas to ensure the success of the review of the SME Policy.
At the same time, Schlettwein launched a website which will showcase SMEs and their products to other businesses, institutions and consumers at home and abroad.
Besides providing information on SMEs, the portal (sme.mti.gov.na) also has an interactive function which will enable tie-ups and linkages between SMEs, other businesses, service providers and buyers.
(NAMPA)
MMT/ND