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$5.9m grant support for MSMEs

Filipe Naigulevu
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

ANOTHER 5900 Fijian micro, small to medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) will soon receive grants under Government's Micro and Small Business Grant (MSBG) initiative.

This is after the Indian Government provided a $5.9 million grant support towards the Fijian Government's MSBG initiative.

The support is in its second phase from the Indian Government after its initial $4.67m provided in 2016, further boosting support for the Fijian MSMEs sector.

The support was sealed through a memorandum of agreement signed yesterday in Suva by Indian High Commissioner Vishvas Sapkal and Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya.

According to Mr Koya, the MSBG initiative began in 2014 and had supported more than 17,970 micro and small entrepreneurs, directly impacted the lives of approximately 89,750 Fijians.

"Whilst the Fijian Government has invested a significant amount of funds in this initiative, it has also been the support of the Indian Government that has given a boost to the program," Mr Koya said.

Mr Koya also confirmed that the second tranche of support from the Indian government would be rolled out and distributed as per normal to Fijian MSMEs.

"First, there's a few left in terms of rehab, small numbers as we have already done the rehab, we must remember that after TC Winston, we had to go through a rehab so the roll out is quite regular and its just be as per normal," he said.

"For those people that doubt it, yes we do go through a monitoring program to check on these things and we didn't ever say that this is going to be a 100 per cent successful, so 80 per cent successful so far in terms of the numbers. That's pretty good in my opinion."

Mr Sapkal said the support also boosted their bilateral relations with the Fijian Government, stemming from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Fiji in 2014.

"We do see a lot of success rate and smiling faces of those MSMEs that were assisted from time to time. This tells a story of success," Mr Sapkal said.

"The SME sector is a very important and crucial sector of any economy. In India we are also helping SMEs through similar grants.

"I am really happy that we are part of the Fijian development process."

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