Reserve Bank of Fiji Extends MSME Subsidy Scheme for Vodafone Fiji’s VitiKart Platform
Friday, 10 November, 2023
SUVA, FIJI - The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Vodafone Fiji for the extension of the Subsidy Scheme for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for its VitiKart platform. This two-year extension, solidified today, reaffirms the institutions' continued commitment to supporting and empowering Fiji's MSMEs as they navigate the evolving e-commerce landscape.
The MOA was signed at the Reserve Bank of Fiji by the Governor, Mr Ariff Ali, and the Regional Chief Marketing Officer of Vodafone Fiji, Mr Rajnesh Prasad. The extension of this partnership demonstrates RBF and Vodafone Fiji's shared vision to boost small business growth and harness e-commerce potential.
Governor Ali expressed his enthusiasm for the extension, stating, "The Reserve Bank of Fiji remains committed to fostering an enabling environment for our country's MSMEs, who play a pivotal role in our economic growth and job creation. With Vodafone Fiji's support, we can ensure that these businesses have the resources and tools to thrive in the digital age. E-commerce is rapidly changing the way business is conducted and this partnership is crucial for the MSME sector to leverage the benefits of online markets."
The Subsidy Scheme for MSMEs was initially launched as a response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting small businesses in expanding their markets through an online presence without considerable investment into a dedicated website and an internet payment gateway. It provides financial incentives and support for MSMEs to enhance their online presence, improve digital skills, and access e-Commerce platforms. This extension signifies the long-term commitment of both RBF and Vodafone Fiji to further MSME sector development in Fiji.
Mr Prasad highlighted the significance of e-commerce for MSMEs, saying, "e-commerce is not just a platform for growth; it's a lifeline for many MSMEs. It allows them to expand their customer base, reduce operational costs, and stay competitive in the market. We are proud to be a part of this initiative, which empowers small businesses and ensures that they can thrive in the digital era."
Governor Ali stressed that the importance of e-commerce in the context of Fiji's economic landscape cannot be understated. It presents a tremendous opportunity for MSMEs to reach a broader audience. The subsidy scheme, with its financial support and training, helps these enterprises bridge the digital divide and compete effectively in the e-commerce arena.
The benefits of the MSME Subsidy extension mean that the scheme will wholly subsidise the monthly subscription fees of eligible MSMEs registered on VitiKart for a period of two years. With over 100 merchants on the platform, the extension of the scheme will enable more MSME businesses to establish and maintain a robust online presence, attracting a wider customer base. Further, the scheme will empower our medium and small businesses equipping them to participate in the growing e-commerce sector and capitalize on the opportunities it offers. The extension reaffirms our commitment to ensuring Fiji's MSMEs are prepared for the evolving landscape of e-commerce and online shopping said Prasad.
As we look to the future, the Reserve Bank of Fiji and Vodafone Fiji are dedicated to the continued growth of the e-commerce market and the vital role it plays in the prosperity of Fiji's MSMEs. This partnership signifies our commitment to supporting the ongoing development of Fiji's economy and the empowerment of its small businesses.
About Reserve Bank of Fiji:
The RBF is the central bank of the Republic of Fiji established under the RBF Act 1983. The principal purposes of the Bank are to regulate the issue of currency and the supply, availability and international exchange of money, to promote monetary stability, to promote a sound financial structure, to foster credit and exchange conditions conducive to the orderly and balanced economic development of the nation, and to regulate the capital markets and insurance industry. For more information, visit www.rbf.gov.fj
About Vodafone Fiji:
Vodafone Fiji sets precedence as an industry leader in digital connectivity in Fiji and the Pacific. As a keen innovation enthusiast, Vodafone evinces a diverse portfolio of enterprise solutions, digital excellence, eCommerce, and next-generation mobile communications technology with a robust FinTech services platform. Our passion for the Vanua and strong work culture empowers our commitment to shaping a more connected and inclusive Fiji.
More information on the Scheme may be obtained from the RBF Financial System Development Group via email firstname.lastname@example.org or from Vodafone email@example.com
|For further information contact:
|Head of E-Commerce