Support for SMEs to access foreign markets

 Mr Charles Brewer (left), MD, DHL, sub-Saharan Africa, and Mr Kader O. Coulibaly, Country Manager, during the media interaction in Accra. Mr Charles Brewer (left), MD, DHL, sub-Saharan Africa, and Mr Kader O. Coulibaly, Country Manager, during the media interaction in Accra.Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country will benefit from international trading skills training to expose them to the rudiments of international business.

It is an initiative by DHL, an international courier and shipment company, and it will enable SMEs to expand their operations into foreign markets.

The Managing Director of DHL in-charge of sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Charles Brewer, who disclosed this in a media interaction in Accra, last weekend, said the project would take off before the end of the year.

He said the capacity-building initiative would be open to SMEs with interest in going global.

“It will be free of charge for those interested and we will be doing it in collaboration with the government and some banks,” Mr Brewer told journalists during his recent visit to the country.

That collaboration, he explained, was for the government to organise the SMEs for the training, while the banks would provide the beneficiaries with the needed financial support for expanding their operations into the global market.

Once those businesses were ready and willing to go global, Mr Brewer said DHL, which currently operates in most countries across the world, would then provide them with the means “to take their products or businesses there. This is a win-win arrangement,” he added.

SMEs currently form the major chunk of businesses in the country, accounting for over 90 per cent of economic activities in recent years, data from the Registrar-Generals Department has indicated.

Their operations are, however, confined to the country and in most cases to their localities as a result of limited resources and lack of expertise, among other things.

This, according to DHL, is not favourable to the economic well-being of those businesses and the economies in which they operate.

“If we are able to encourage just 10 per cent of these SMEs to access the global market, we would have been helping in economic sustainability and job creation,” Mr Brewer said.

The Country Manager of DHL, Mr Kader O. Coulibaly, added that the company had plans to increase its contact offices in the country to 100 from the current 76 by the close of the year.

That, he said, was to help bring DHL closer to the customer and reduce the stress that people and businesses often go through trying to do business with it.

By Maxwell Adombila Akalaare/Daily Graphic/Ghana

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