Raj Kishore Bunjun, the Acting Permanent Secretary of Industrial Development, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Cooperatives in Mauritius, expressed gratitude to the Zambian Government for its commitment to supporting SMEs in Zambia.
During his visit to the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Mr. Bunjun highlighted the significant potential for growth and increased productivity among Zambian Small and Medium Enterprises if they receive adequate support.
He mentioned Mauritius’s willingness to assist Zambian SMEs in gaining international exposure through events like trade fairs.
Mr. Bunjun emphasized the importance of comprehensive training and guidance at various levels to help SMEs establish sustainable businesses. He also expressed Mauritius’s eagerness to provide trade show opportunities to Zambia, allowing its SMEs to tap into Mauritius’s potential and business connections.
Mrs. Subeta Mutelo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, expressed her pleasure at receiving the delegation and engaging in discussions on mutual interests.
She highlighted Zambia’s renewed focus on SME development, exemplified by the creation of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, and the government’s dedication to protecting SME interests.
Mrs. Mutelo explained that the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development has established offices in all districts and provincial centers to facilitate service delivery to the people.
Despite SMEs contributing significantly to employment, GDP, and businesses, they still face challenges such as limited access to affordable finance, markets, business development services, infrastructure, a weak entrepreneurial culture, and poor collaboration among businesses.
The Permanent Secretary added that the Ministry is currently implementing various programs in collaboration with different stakeholders. These programs aim to improve the policy environment, increase access to finance and markets, and provide other essential support services.
She noted the numerous opportunities for collaboration between Zambia and Mauritius in the field of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises through organizations like the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises and the National Small Industries Corporation (NSCI).
Furthermore, Mrs. Mutelo expressed Zambia’s interest in providing international exposure to its SMEs to leverage opportunities in Mauritius. Discussions also covered topics such as the possibility of implementing graduate schemes, grant schemes, transformation schemes, and providing financial and technical assistance to SMEs, among other matters.