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Fiji Time: 11:58 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Call to protect SMEs from 'bullies'

Timoci Vula
Thursday, November 15, 2012

SMALL to medium business enterprises (SMEs) needs to be protected from "bullies" in the bigger fields.

And to do this, there needs to be a regulatory framework put in place immediately to freeze constant bullying of small businesses by the "big boys".

Yee Wah Sing, once a small time ginger farmer-turned 'big boy', made this comment in his presentation at the two-day capital market development workshop at the Novotel in Lami yesterday. Speaking on the topic 'Accommodating SMEs in the capital markets - where do we fall short and where do we start', Mr Wah Sing shared an incident where a self-employed contractor had to beg for his money for work done for that huge company.

He said there must be a law to ensure bigger businesses were required to pay for the services within 15 days from completion of work, as practised in New Zealand.

He reminded investment advisers, chief executive officers of State-owned statutory authorities, accountants and lawyers, and investors that players in the SME sector were those who were desperate to make a livelihood.

"SMEs are the people who have to put up with their own money to set up their business, and the future of their family and their children depend on the risk they take to set up their businesses," Mr Wah Sing said.