Poverty reduction by trade and production capacity building in less privileged economies

To galvanize support for the Millennium Development Goals, the UN Secretary-General has established an MDG Advocacy Group of eminent personalities who have shown outstanding leadership in promoting the implementation of the Goals. World leading pioneers at innovative SME policy are members of the MDG Group, e.g. Prof. Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh), Nobel Peace Prize Winner, founder of the Grameen Bank for Micro Financing who will focus on MDG 8 (global partnership for development), Mukesh D. Ambani (India) Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries. Focus on MDG 8 (global partnership for development), Wangari Maathai (Kenya) Nobel Peace Prize Winner, environmental and political activist. Focus on MDG 7 (environmental sustainability) and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (United States) UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the MDGs. ocus on all MDGs. WUSME will co-operate with these eminent persons in the interest of SMEs in less privileged countries in the nearer future.

WUSME: World Champion at Global Partnership (MDG Target 8)

Delegates of SMEs supporting organisations from more than 50 Countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, USA, Russian Federation, among them Government Agencies, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Women Entrepreneurs Organisations and Banks participated in the Conference. According to recent estimations of the World Bank, we have world wide approx. 500 million formal and informal entrepreneurs, 99% of them SMEs including Micro-Entrepreneurs. The number fluctuates with the ups and downs of the economic cycles. Though since the begin of this year, a significant rebound of the world economy can be felt, it has not yet become a recovery. Due to the crisis more than 60 million more people, among them millions of small- and micro entrepreneurs, primarily in the less developed countries will be in poverty in this year 2010.Many of the achievements in recent years made to facilitate business of SMEs in the world, to reduce poverty in less privileged economies have seriously been jeopardised by shrinking demand for SMEs export products, increasing prices for energy and food, falling commodity prices, significant reductions in foreign investment and a general liquidity shortage. The strong interdependence among the worlds’ economies made this a literally global economic crisis and human tragedy.

SMEs Crises Prevention and Development

Leading economists, e.g Jeffrey Sachs predict that SMEs cannot rely alone on Governments help and financial support in times of crises. Faced with huge budget deficits and public anger, almost all counties in the world, including the US and the Countries of the European Union will have to impose a financial transaction levy soon, based on the proposal of the Nobel Price laureate James Tobin. The revenue generating potential of a levy is tremendous. A tiny levy rate of 0.005% would generate proxy. $30 billion per year, of which a substantial amount could be allocated to promote international economic development and prevent Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises from bankruptcy in times of financial crises. A pilot CTL pilot project initiated by WUSME shall now prove the feasibility of a unilateral CTL on a voluntary basis agreed between Governments and local Banks.

Micro Finance and Agribusiness

Our WUSME President Gian Franco Terenzi is convinced: Micro financing has proven a critical tool in the fight for survival of SMEs in times of a crisis and for further development. Access to a range of micro finance services, savings, loans, and money transfers— enables poor families to invest in enterprise and in better nutrition, improved living conditions, and the health and education of their children. Further a commitment to focus on Micro- and Small agribusiness, the existing approaches being followed by structural transformation, technological upgrading and economic diversification of economies. Agribusiness is the key determinant of overall economic growth and poverty reduction in most developing Countries.

The accelerated development of agribusiness will benefit a large majority, paricularly of the population in most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, and it will enhance the well-being of both producers and consumers, generate employment, income and food security and contibute to solve the problem of increasing immigration and emigration of the local population. Access to Micro-financing for SMEs in the agro-industry will have priority for WUSME’s Action Plan.

There are indeed strong indications for being optimistic about WUSME’s potential for achieving the Goals as set in the Mission Statement and in the Declaration of Porpose.. Can it be done? Yes, we are confident that success is at hand. Together we can make a difference. The difference will be driven by innovative thoughts, actions and deeds.

Author: Prof. Dr. Norbert W. Knoll von Dornhoff, General Secetary, WUSME World Union of SMEs, mailto: wus@europe.com, web: http://www.wusme.org


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