Economic program review takes place on Chuuk
WENO, Chuuk (FSM Information Service): February 2000 - Heads of commerce and industry from the four FSM states and the FSM government are conducting a review conference of two important business programs which will run February 21 to 22.
The Small Business Micronesian Entrepreneur Development Centers - Phase 11 scheme and the Public Sector Reform in Chuuk will be the subject of the review conference, said Leon V. Chico, Ph.D., United Nations Country Liaison Officer and U.N. Industrial Development Organization chief technical advisor.
Chico said the programs have tried to tie direct support services to entrepreneurs and existing enterprises by providing training in business ownership and business management and technical and managerial support services.
These programs also try to make available, through various media, business information and try to improve the policy and regulatory environment.
The projects have been relatively successful in providing a lot of social-economic benefits to women and at-risk youth, said Chico.
However, there are problems that need addressing, especially the main issue of how to be sustainable without expatriates, such as the United Nations specialists, said Chico.
Another problem area needing addressing is the building of confidence in the ability and trustfulness of local business advisors, said Chico.
With this in mind, beginning next year a bigger project under the umbrella of business development, the Micronesian Entrepreneur Development Centers will start as a joint effort between state governments and the College of Micronesia-FSM, with Small Business Development Centers running the program.
"This will help keep trained personnel working in the field because salaries will be higher than if privately funded," said Chico.
Furthermore, provided both parties agree to it, the Asian Development Bank and the state governments will fund the project, said Chico.
The result should be the construction of buildings and other associated infrastructure, vocational training, land management and policy assistance, and a micro-credit scheme to help new entrepreneurs get business loans as small as $500, said Chico.
Sebastian Anefal, Secretary of FSM Department of Economic Affairs, is chairing the conference.
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