India injects $1.7m into Fiji’s small business grant

Residents of Rakiraki smile away after receiving their Micro and Small Business Grant at FSC grounds in Ra on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

THE Indian Government has given an additional $1.7million towards the Fiji Government’s Micro and Small Business Grant (MSBG) program.

The program, implemented by the Ministry of Trade, has been able to help kick-start various small businesses in rural communities.

While handing out grants to 1235 recipients in Rakiraki on Thursday, Minister for Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya said the Indian Government was one of a few of their international partners contributing to the program.

“The MSBG program continues to receive support from the Government of India, they have again contributed additional $1.7m towards the program. A number of our international development partners are also providing technical assistance and advisory support to this very program and other initiatives for MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) development,” Mr Koya said.

He said because of the success of the program, Fiji was also chosen to pilot a new global initiative for small businesses.

“The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) recently launched an initiative targeting the development of MSMEs.

“Fiji is one of the two countries in the Pacific region where the project will be piloted.

“The project is to strengthen capacity in countries to effectively integrate MSMEs into regional and global value chains.

“Through the project, Fijian examples could also become learning experiences for other countries in the region also. And we will be able to draw on ideas on how to elevate our MSMEs to become part of the global market and supply chain.”

He said this was a demonstration of policies implemented to alleviate poverty in the country.