Maseru – Government through the Ministry of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing is working to refuel the spirit of business into Basotho so they can participate in the country’s economic development.
Minister Chalane Phori said this when officially opening the 2017 International Expo at Maseru Mall Grounds on Monday, saying Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs are pillars of the country’s economy, hence the need to support them to grow and create jobs for other Basotho.
Honourable Phori said the Ministry is touring the various districts to encourage Basotho to participate in business to improve their living conditions, and commended the Entrepreneurs Network for organising the event which is the second of its kind in the country, supported by Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation BEDCO and other business stakeholders.
Speaking at the week-long event, BEDCO Chief Executive Officer Dr. ‘Makatleho Matabooe said the Expo marks another milestone as it gives producers and buyers the opportunity to view and market local products, saying it also coincides with the Global Entrepreneurs Week, which gives entrepreneurs a chance to meet and exchange ideas and experiences on improving their products so they can reach the international market.
Dr. Matabooe however mentioned that SMEs are still faced with some bottlenecks in international trade, despite the agreements that governments have signed, citing among other constraints, poor infrastructure and delays at ports of entry, and applauded government for efforts taken to develop the small business sector in the country.
In his welcome remarks, the Entrepreneurs Network Executive Chairperson, Mr. Stephen Monyamane said the time has come for Basotho to network and strive to change Lesotho’s economy through producing and marketing local products.