RE: “Govt, businesses discuss ways to boost manufacturing, exports” (The New Times, December 20).
I love buying a product coming directly from the labor and innovation of my own people. That said, if I can easily get the same item three to four times cheaper from our next door neighbors I’ll do away with my moment of patriotism.
We have to devalue our franc; it’s not impossible. Our people must have sufficient disposable income to buy from our manufacturers first. That’s not impossible. Our manufacturers need the right skills of a workforce to drive quality. That’s not impossible.
But above all, firms need the money to run these businesses. Raising capital for smaller firms can be a problem. But there has to be a way.
And finally, there should be a fair competition mechanism where Government-backed firms must not get involved in almost all kinds of business. If this happens, smaller firms lose out in this fight.
SMEs are the bedrock of any industrializing economy because it employs thousands of people, but quality must be the number one priority as the trade minister has always suggested. Members of PSF and Trade Ministry need to orgarnise a mission to Japan and see for themselves how small but highly efficient and competitive SMEs operate.