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FIJI: $35.4m for SMEs
Source: fijitimes.com
Source Date: Friday, August 22, 2014
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Fiji
Created: Aug 26, 2014

AS many as 584 loans worth $35.4million were given out to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the Reserve Bank of Fiji's SME credit guarantee scheme. Fiji Development Bank (FDB) statistics show that the total SME loan was about $64m and more than 19 per cent of the bank's loan portfolio. Speaking at the launch of the FDB 2014 SMEs Awards in Suva yesterday, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation CEO Mereia Volavola says this is quite a sizeable portfolio and testimony of FDB's support to SMEs. "SMEs are very important to our economy and these are well documented in the world today," she said. Apart from creating economic activities, exports, investment, employment and reducing poverty, its key importance, she believed, was developing internal capacities of the country. "If more emphasis is placed in supporting and promoting SMEs, the country will be able to address its unemployment and create more business activities that will increase economic growth."

According to RBF statistics, she said there were about 4200 registered micro, small and medium enterprises in Fiji last year. "It is estimated that the sector accounted for almost 12 per cent of the country's GDP at around $800m." She said the total lending by commercial banks at the end of last year was $316m or above 8 per cent of the total loan portfolio.

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