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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Portal for SMEs from Commonwealth

Commonwealth Secretariat (CS) has announced the debut of a new electronic portal dedicated to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The portal could be accessed through the secretariat’s website, www.thecommonwealth.org/investment.

A portal is a site featuring a suite of commonly used services, serving as a starting point and frequent gateway to the Web (Web portal) or a niche topic (vertical portal).

Director, Economic Affairs Division at the secretariat, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, said the portal provides easy access to useful information and materials of special interest to SMEs under one roof.

He also said, these include regularly updated descriptions of, and access to, SME-dedicated institutions and funds, by sector, region, size, and type of financial product offered.

According to the director, there are also background documents relating to SME financing and development, and a schedule of upcoming meetings and events of interest to SMEs, by region and by theme.

Explaining further, Dr. Coomaraswamy said, the portal enables online discussions and a question-and-answer section through a discussion forum.

Interested parties, the director advised, are encouraged to register and participate in the forum at http://forums.thecommonwealth.org/forumdisplay.php?f=8.

The SME investment forum could also be accessed by following the link to ‘Discussion Forum’ from the Investment portal page.

The portal designed and managed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the director said, is user-friendly Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platform that would soon become a key business tool in identifying opportunities and partners. “An opportunity to exchange views and experiences, and a vehicle to disseminate and share information for SMEs and SME partners alike,” asserted the director.

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