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Mar 26, 2015

Making SMEs More Competitive and Export Ready

Shahera McKoy

BELTRAIDE and Caribbean Export Development Agency want to make SMEs more competitive and export ready. In a two-day training that started on Wednesday, business owners were engaged in a workshop to build their capacity to better take advantage of the European Partnership Agreement benefits, including the exportation of more goods and services. Exporters and potential exporters are learning key modules to learn best practices and consequently increase their bottom line. News Five spoke with the organizers of the training for the first session on Wednesday.

 

Shahera McKoy, Manager, Export Belize

“In the interactions we’ve had with our clients, we have looked at some of the queries we get and some of the need areas, and felt that production management would be a good first in rolling out of the program in Belize. While today the number is small, we are hoping that while we roll out other training programs through ProNet that we see the number increase. For example, we have Belize Chocolate Company, BELCAR, Caribbean Paper, Caribbean Premier and some smaller one and others that are established for a while. It will contribute to the level of development of all levels of the companies, like what they can go back and change in their company and operation.”

 

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones, Adviser Access to Finance, Caribbean Export Development Agency

“Apart from the certificate that they will get at the end. What we expect the participants of this program is for them to actually use the skills in their production management practices. ProNet is actually a global training and it was compiled essentially by consultants in Europe and Germany and can be found in parts of Europe, Africa and here in the region. We have had instances where SMEs come back to us and say that thing you taught us in ProNet, I went back to the factory floor and look at how I was doing things and realized that what I learnt if I implemented some of it, I could change. And by implementing these small fixes, I have been able to make my production twenty percent more efficient; thus reducing my overheads; thus enabling me to have greater cash flow and making me more competitive. And that is at the crux of what we want to do for SMES throughout the region. We want to build their competitiveness. If we look around globally, it is a competitive landscape. Asian SMEs are getting a lot of support and they are doing well. We want to ensure that our SMEs within the region can compete at a global level. And that is part of what ProNet allows them to do.”

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