UN commits to further support SMEs, Cooperatives, Media

February 1, 2023 4:10 pm

Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica and N Resident Coordinator to the Pacific, Sanaka Samarasinha. [Photo Supplied]

The United Nations has agreed to support the government to convene a roundtable of development partners, the private sector and key stakeholders to discuss the best approaches to supporting SMEs and cooperatives in Fiji long-term.

UN Resident Coordinator to the Pacific, Sanaka Samarasinha revealed this at a discussion with Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica.

The discussion included ways to ensure that the support given to SMEs is sustainable long-term and creates economic opportunities, development of guidelines for development partners such as the UN as well as ways to best connect SMEs to each other and to key markets.

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It also included strengthening existing cooperatives in Fiji and expanding cooperatives, especially those in remote areas such as the Lau Group.

Sanaka Samarasinha says it is crucial for the beneficiaries of these UN projects and other development partner projects to be able to benefit from development partner support in the long-term.

He says we must find ways to ensure projects do not only support challenges short-term, they must be long-term solutions and the ones who need it the most are the ones who should benefit most from them.

Manoa Kamikamica says another priority area for the government is the reviewing of Fiji’s media laws, with an industry meeting scheduled for next week.

The UN has confirmed that it will use this crucial meeting to provide inputs on ways to align Fiji’s media laws to global standards.

In addition, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Pacific Agency Head, Jayvee Santos says they will launch an online Trade Portal this year.

Santos says this will show the step-by-step process of exporting certain commodities in or out of Fiji – a tool which will benefit importers and exporters alike, with Fiji-specific guidance per commodity.

The UN Resident Coordinator to the Pacific will meet with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Viliame Gavoka on Friday.