ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/09 July) – The Department of Trade and Industry aims to attain at least a 10-percent annual growth for the Zamboanga Peninsula’s export revenues, private sector investment and job creation.
To realize its target, the DTI has adopted ACCESS Program as the key contributory factor to this region’s economic growth through the creation and growth of small and medium enterprises.
ACCESS stands for Agency Convergence for Comprehensive Entrepreneurship Support Services.
ACCESS is unique to Zamboanga Peninsula and was conceptualized as a mechanism to institutionalize the inter-agency activities of the SME Core Group that are supportive of the SME sector, said DTI Assistant Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain.
A brainchild of Jain’s, ACCESS will provide SMEs with business support services in the following impact areas: business and investment enabling environment, access to finance, access to market, and productivity and efficiency.
Jain said they envision the SMEs to become exporters through the program.
“That is why we have a profile of each SME we are assisting so we will know exactly at what stage they are upon enrolment to the program; we know exactly just what support they need at each stage and we know the pace of their growth from this year to the next,” she added.
She said at least a thousand SMEs had been identified and enrolled for support during the next five years in the entire region.
She said the ACCESS program targets a 10-percent increase in the number of SMEs engaged in manufacturing, processing and agri-business.
“With the kind of support we are getting from our partner agencies and even from the private sector, we are confident we will be able to realize that 10-percent annual target of incremental growth in employment, investments and exports from the SMEs we are assisting” Jain said. (MindaNews)