Ray of hope for small busi­nesses

Lesotho Times - - Business - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

A CANA­DIAN busi­ness ex­pert ar­rives in the coun­try to­day ahead of a busi­ness sem­i­nar to train Ba­sotho busi­ness­peo­ple in­ter­ested in ex­port­ing to the North Amer­i­can coun­try, Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer Retšelisit­soe Sekake has said.

The ex­pert, from the Trade Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Of­fice (TFO) Canada, is sched­uled to meet trade agen­cies of­fi­cials and busi­ness sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives, cul­mi­nat­ing in a sem­i­nar at the Le­hakoe Recre­ational and Cul­tural Cen­tre on Mon­day.

TFO Canada is a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion es­tab­lished by the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment to pro­vide mar­ket ac­cess ser­vices to ex­porters from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Mr Sekake said TFO Canada signed an agree­ment with the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment its five-year trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme called “Canada Mar­ket Ac­cess and Ca­pac­ity Build­ing Ser­vice”.

He said Le­sotho stood to ben­e­fit from the pro­gramme which is meant to help de­velop the abil­ity of small and medium-sized en­ter­prises (SMES) and re­lated trade-sup­port in­sti­tu­tions in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to pur­sue ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties in Canada.

“The ob­jec­tive of the visit, among oth­ers, is to fa­mil­iarise TFO Canada with Le­sotho’s busi­ness sec­tors that are ready to ex­port their prod­ucts to Canada,” Mr Sekake said, adding that the tex­tile, aloe prod­ucts, hand­crafts, wool and mo­hair sec­tors had been pro­vi­sion­ally iden­ti­fied as po­ten­tial ex­porters.

“Fur­ther­more, as part of ef­forts to as­sist Le­sotho’s busi­ness sec­tor to ex­pand, TFO Canada will, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho, or­gan­ise a trade tex­tile show in 2016 fea­tur­ing Le­sotho’s gar­ment ex- porters in Canada.”

To in­crease the chances of ac­cess­ing the Cana­dian mar­ket, he said, TFO would pro­vide in­for­ma­tion ser­vices de­vel­oped to link Ba­sotho ex­porters with po­ten­tial buy­ers in Canada, thereby as­sur­ing them of a mar­ket for their prod­ucts.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Youth En­trepreneurs Fo­rum Pres­i­dent Makhetha Thaele said: “As the youth fo­rum, we are not aware of that ini­tia­tive but I think that ac­cess­ing the Cana­dian mar­ket would re­sult in job cre­ation and al­le­vi­a­tion of poverty.”

He, how­ever, noted that Le­sotho needed to put its house in or­der with re­gards to its hu­man re­source base and ac­cess to fi­nance to en­sure that such ini­tia­tives fully ben­e­fit lo­cal SMES.

“It would be fool­hardy for us to re­joice over an open mar­ket while we don’t have the right skills to meet the re­quire­ments of the mar­ket,” Mr Thaele said.

“As a coun­try, we first need to ad­dress the is­sue of our lim­ited hu­man re­source base and lack of ac­cess to fi­nance so that we are well equipped to seize this op­por­tu­nity and never let it go.

“I would rec­om­mend that the rel­e­vant min­istries tem­po­rar­ily im­port skilled peo­ple un­der­stud­ied by Ba­sotho to en­sure that we have the needed skills and abil­ity to ben­e­fit from such projects.”

Youth En­trepreneurs Fo­rum Pres­i­dent thaele Makhetha.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.