Sustaining SMEs; A Rationale

Small & medium enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the economies of most countries in the Asia-Pacific region not only because of their sheer number but also the variety of their activities. In part, SMEs contribute to countryside development, as well as support large industries and serve as a breeding ground for innovation and adaptation. SMEs thus can be looked upon as a source of constant renewal in commerce and industry and as a wellspring of competition and dynamism.

Development financing institutions (DFIs), by the nature of their development orientation and mandate, have been for many years in the forefront of SME promotion and assistance in their respective countries.

The success, however, of DFIs in assisting SMEs varies from country to country because of differences in priorities, policy directions and pronouncements set by each country. Recent developments, especially in the technology arena, as well as the standardization of rules of business via the World Trade Organization, have enabled DFIs to find some common ground in its resolve to further support SMEs.

The Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia & the Pacific (ADFIAP), the Association of Development Finance Institutions in Malaysia (ADFIM) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have come together to embark on an undertaking called SME Finance Initiative (SME/FI), pooling their respective experiences, expertise and resources in the continued promotion of SME development through the provision of finance and other support services to this economic sector.

The SME/FI was formally launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on September 12, 2005 during the International CEO Forum on SMEs, with the three organizations signing the tripartite agreement.

From L-R: ADFIAP Chair, Amb. Jesus Tambunting, ADFIM Chair Dato’ Md. Noor Yusoff, ITC Sr. Adviser on Trade Finance, Carlo Cattani. Back L-R: Y. B. Tan Sri Nor Mohammad Yakcop and Yb ng. Datuk Zamani Ghani.

What is SME/FI?

The SME/Finance Initiative (SME/FI) is a knowledge cum business network that will put together development banks, other specialized financial institutions and development organizations in different countries to discuss and address specific issues in the financing of and other support services to SMEs.

What is the purpose of the Initiative?

The purpose of the Initiative is to enable and promote an international exchange of information, experiences, and best practices on financing SMEs among banking and finance professionals and institutions and to further improve the development and growth of the SME sector.

The SME/FI aims to eventually evolve into the largest public/private partnership of like-minded institutions in sustaining SMEs.

Who can participate in the Initiative?

The Parties/Initial Signatories agree to be members to participate in the Initiative. New parties from other international organizations in the banking and finance sector which are responsible for the promotion and development of SME/FI may also join as members. Notwithstanding that, their participation must be consented to by the Parties/Initial Signatories by majority vote.

What is the Initiative’s focus?

The Parties/Initial Signatories will specifically focus on the goals of the SME/FI through exchange of ideas, experiences and best-of-industry practices; organization of and participation in conferences, seminars and similar activities; and promotion of the Initiative in their respective newsletters, periodicals, and journals, as well as websites.

What are the main areas of cooperation?

To assist members and constituencies of the respective institutions to develop common projects under the SME/FI;

  • To facilitate an international learning exchange; and,
  • To develop electronic networks for information exchange.

Follow this link to know more about SME/FI:

EDB provides loan to Belarusian Bank to finance SMEs

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) signed a five-year loan agreement with Belpromstroibank for a total of $25 million for financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Belarus.

The financing will be provided under the EDB’s ongoing Programme of Support of Small and Medium- Sized Businesses by Providing Target Facilities to Financial Institutions.

Belpromstroibank will independently select SMEs sub-borrowers which meet the criteria agreed with the EDB and provide them with target loans for business development.

The project will assist the creation of a favourable climate for the sustainable development and competition of Belarusian SMEs and enhancing their competitiveness domestically and internationally, and strengthen the infrastructural and institutional bases of the market economy of Belarus.
Last summer Belarus joined Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Armenia and became the fifth member of the EDB. At the same time the EDB and the Government of Belarus entered into an agreement on the Bank’s presence in the country.

NSIC organizes “Tehmart India 2010”

Encouraged with the success of earlier “Techmart India” – an International Technology Fair and its significant role in the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the National Small Industries Corporatin (NSIC) has organized the Techmart India 2010 (18th International Technology Fair) from 14-27 November, 2010 to showcase achievement of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises under one roof, coinciding with the India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Techmart India 2010 spread over an area of 5000 sqm., and a perfect platform for those entrepreneurs who are interested in keeping abreast with the latest technological developments in the Micro, Small and Medium Sector. The show covered the wide range of engineering, manufacturing & allied industries. It is also an ideal platform to Network / Establish new business contacts/renew old contacts, discover new market opportunities and enhance market access in India & abroad.

Techmart 2009 attracted a good response from trade and industry. 202 micro and small units from all over India representing the states of Delhi, Punjab, Himanchal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamilnadu including more than 50 units from North Eastern States participated in the exhibition. The exhibition was divided in to several segments like Light Engg., mechanical products, electrical & electronics, institutions, packaging, bakery, information technology, machine & machine tools & general products. etc. During the duration of the fair, 16 foreign delegations visited from countries like South Africa, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Afghanistan, Iran, Botswana, Libya, Ethiopia, Angola and Tunisia and other Commonwealth Countries.

The 2010 event was very successful and total number of 2,86,680 domestic business enquiries and export enquiries worth Rs. 1249.75 crores were generated.

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