Press Release

Fijian MSMEs celebrated on International Day

27 June 2022

Fijian vendors sell their products
Caption: Two Fijian women small business owners pose for a photo at the 'mini market' day event in Suva, Fiji.
Photo: © Dawn Gibson/UNRCO Fiji MCO

As we mark International Day of MSMEs (micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises) – we're reminded of the importance of celebrating and supporting the work of local MSMEs who form the backbone of societies globally.

To mark the occasion, the United Nations (UN) joined colleagues from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and partners from the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) to host a mini ‘market day’ in front of Kadavu House in Suva.

The market provided a free space for Fijian MSMEs to sell food and products, including jewellery, crafts, fabric, sulus, and many more items, to members of the public and staff who work inside the Kadavu House building.

Globally, MSMEs account for 90% of businesses, 60 to 70% of employment, and 50% of GDP worldwide.

Acting UN Resident Coordinator to Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, Levan Bouadze, said the importance of MSMEs cannot be understated.

“MSMEs form a crucial contribution to national economies, and they help to sustain livelihoods, especially among women, vulnerable groups, young people, and the poor. Many of them are emerging from extremely difficult situations following COVID-19 and we hope events like this one give them an opportunity to grow their businesses,” Mr Bouadze said.

Sweets on offer at the event.
Caption: MSME Business owners display their baked goods at the 'mini market' event in Suva, Fiji.
Photo: © Dawn Gibson/UNRCO Fiji MCO
Caption: The talented Crissy Pickering's handmade wooden handicrafts were a crowd favourite at the 'mini market' day in Suva, Fiji.
Caption: The talented Crissy Pickering's handmade wooden handicrafts were a crowd favourite at the 'mini market' day in Suva, Fiji.
Photo: © Dawn Gibson/UNRCO Fiji MCO

Matin Karimli, Director ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries, said “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are responsible for 70% of all jobs worldwide. In the Pacific, ILO continues to work with social partners on support programmes for MSMEs to drive inclusive economic recovery, environmental sustainability, and decent job creation.”

FCEF CEO, Kameli Batiweti, added: “Do not despise humble beginnings. When we remember where we started from, it becomes a strong motivation for MSMEs to strive for greatness. The FCEF since 2013 has been committed towards empowering MSMEs in both the formal and informal sector through training and capacity building training. Opportunities like the market day initiated by our UN partners are welcome by the Federation as these help our members showcase their products to potential markets.”

The UN encourages policymakers to move past recovery and consider ways to lower and eliminate barriers faced by MSMEs, improve the business environment, and access to finance, markets, and technology.

Today is an important reminder to support and empower local MSMEs and unlock their full potential through inspiring innovation, creativity, and decent work for all so no one is left behind.

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ENDS

Fijian MSMEs celebrated on International Day

Dawn Gibson

Dawn Gibson

RCO
Media, Communications and Advocacy Lead Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu & Vanuatu
Comms Officer

Peter Blumel

ILO
Communications Focal Point

UN entities involved in this initiative

ILO
International Labour Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative