G20 must empower MSMEs to reach healthy economic development: expert

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The G20 must empower micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to realize healthy, inclusive, and sustainable economic development, researcher with T20’s Task Force 2 at Argentina’s Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Gabriela Rigoni, said.

“MSMEs are the economic backbones of the society. So, the G20 must empower MSMEs to reach healthy, inclusive, and sustainable development,” Rigoni remarked at a webinar on ‘Harnessing Digital Technologies to Accelerate SMEs, Startups, and Creative Industry,’ which was accessed from here on Tuesday.

MSMEs contribute 44 percent to Argentina’s GDP (gross domestic product) and 50 percent of jobs depend on them, she informed.

“So, we are not different from Indonesia. We need to think about how we can help them locally and globally with T20 policies,” she said.

All MSMEs together are the biggest employers of any local economy worldwide, she added.

“It is not only Asia, it is not only Argentina, (but) it is (true for) everywhere in the world,” she said.

However, MSMEs are facing several challenges, so it is necessary to promote development and growth, which would entail addressing barriers that usually add to the difficulties of the context in which MSMEs are immersed, she added.

MSMEs are in need of more policies to script a global recovery from COVID-19, she highlighted.

“This has already been considered by the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), IMF (International Monetary Fund), and I hope (it will) also (be) considered by the G20,” she said.

The digital economy could boost MSME development and promote entrepreneurship, help community projects create value, reach consumer groups, and achieve true local development, according to Rigoni.

Meanwhile, the limitations of MSMEs include barriers relating to distance and borders, access to marketing tools, deficit of knowledge and awareness of chances and new business opportunities, poor ability to change, and competitive disadvantages, she explained.

“MSMEs do not have the same (level of) access, so digital economy platforms are the ideal solution,” she said.

Digitalization can help MSMEs access a broader market, integrate with global markets, integrate with global value chains, become competitors in niche markets, and reduce size advantages in international trade, she pointed out.

To this end, the G20 should provide tools to address competition issues in the digital economy, she stressed.

In addition, the policies could include the digital space quota and fair-trade initiatives in the digital realm.

“MSMEs’ survival should not be dictated by an algorithm,” she remarked.

Source: Antara News