$1tr annual investment could unlock SMEs dev power: ITC

27 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

GENEVA: Additional private investment of 1 trillion U.S. dollars annually in developing countries' small businesses would play a pivotal role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an International Trade Centre (ITC) report said Tuesday.

ITC released its "SME (small and medium enterprise) Competitiveness Outlook 2019: Big Money for Small Business -- Financing the Sustainable Development Goals," and held a press conference on it at the United Nations in Geneva, reports Xinhua.

Expanding investment into small and medium-sized enterprises would help deliver inclusive economic growth and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, together with profits for investors, said the ITC.

"There is tremendous scope to scale up the flow of private investment towards SMEs in developing countries, including in the poorest ones," said ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez.

"Mobilizing this finance can get us closer to achieving the goals set out by UN members in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." Currently, just a fraction of the 80 trillion U.S. dollars managed by global asset managers are invested in SMEs in developing countries, said the ITC.

At the same time there is great, untapped potential to channel capital held by global funds towards these profitable investment opportunities.

The SME Competitiveness Outlook says that several factors hold investors back from channeling more funding into otherwise profitable investment opportunities in developing countries. These include a lack of scalable investment projects, non-transparent investment processes, misguided perceptions of the risks of investing in SMEs, and a lack of knowledge about enterprise capacities.