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International MSME Day, June 27, 2020 VP Meriton hails MSMEs’ contribution to the country’s economy | 27 June 2020

Vice-President Vincent Meriton has said he acknowledges the important contribution MSMEs have and continue to make in the Seychelles economy.

Mr Meriton, who also holds the portfolio responsibility for industry and entrepreneurship development, said this in a message on the occasion of the International Day for Micro, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

The full text of Mr Meriton’s message reads:

“The world is seeing the importance of MSMEs (micro, small & medium-sized enterprises) as they are being affected the hardest by the economic effects in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to this crisis, the economy was projected to be at its highest in 2020 and one of the reasons is due to the immense economic contributions of MSMEs.

“MSMEs are considered the backbone of all economies as they contribute significantly to employment and GDP. MSMEs influence the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally, including SDG 1 (end poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work), and SDG 9 (improve sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation). Hence, the principal reasons that the United Nations General Assembly has declared today, June 27, as the International MSME Day.

“Due to their vulnerability and as a small island state, numerous measures were put in place by the government of Seychelles to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, government had been calling for the creation of an enabling business environment to support MSMEs through access to finance, access to new markets, and ease of doing business among others. The department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development (DOIED) and the Enterprise Seychelles Agency (ESA) are two instruments that were established pre-COVID-19 to ensure that MSMEs have the capacity to stand and remain above ground pre or post any crisis. Through those two organisations, works are already underway to finalise, together with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), an Entrepreneurship Policy for Seychelles, and the implementation of a world-renowned entrepreneurship capacity-building programme – Empretec.

“Although unexpected, COVID-19 has proven to be beneficial to a certain extent. MSMEs have realised that it is important for them to start embracing technology, as the true potential of digitalisation will lead to new revenue streams for their businesses. It has also enlightened everyone on the importance of local products and innovation, and how it is pivotal for us to start embracing them for the future. Now more than ever, MSMEs must think in an entrepreneurial manner for the progression of the economy as we continue to tackle the devastating and continuous effects of COVID-19.

“On this occasion, I therefore take the opportunity to acknowledge the important contribution MSMEs have and continue to make in the Seychelles economy. By introducing more innovative business ideas and more of their entrepreneurial skills on the local market, an even remarkable impact is possible. We must now use COVID-19 as an opportunity and the foundation for the future of the private sector and the overall economy.

“I wish all MSMEs a blessed MSME Day!”

 

Vincent Meriton

Minister responsible for the department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development

 

 

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