Small States

Economic Review and Basic Statistics, Volume 13

image of Small States

This unique annual collection of key economic and statistical data on states with fewer than five million inhabitants is an essential reference for economists, planners and policy-makers.

The Commonwealth’s base definition of small states is those with a population of less than one and a half million. For comparison purposes this volume presents, where available, data on states with a population of up to five million, since many share characteristics with the smaller ones.

The book contains fifty-four tables covering selected economic, social, demographic and Millennium Development Goal indicators culled from international and national sources and presents information unavailable elsewhere. A detailed parallel commentary on trends in Commonwealth small states, looking at growth, employment, inflation, human development, and economic policy, permits a deeper understanding of developments behind the figures. The book also includes four articles focusing on small and medium enterprises: ‘Small-scale Activities and the Productivity Divide’ by Naren Prasad, ‘Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises Development: Lessons from Small States’, by David Ashiagbor, ‘Strengthening Supply Chains for Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Namibia’, by Watipaso Mkandawire, and ‘Experiences in Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises Networking Across Small States in the Commonwealth’, by Ram Venuprasad. Naren Prasad was formerly a research co-ordinator at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva and joined the ILO's International Institute for Labour Studies as a Development Economist in 2008. The other contributors are all advisers at the Commonwealth Secretariat.



Strengthening Supply Chains for Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Namibia by Watipaso Mkandawire

Namibia has a unique political and economic history, which partly explains its extreme income disparity; most Namibians have a low per capita income of around US$85, while average per capita income is over US$2000. The major ity of the population plays an insignificant role in economic production and development. Given this background, supporting micro-, small and medium-sized enter prises (MSMEs) is a challenge. Low producer prices, the high cost of inputs and poor market information mean that support for MSMEs requires an intervention that will introduce new ways of doing business, while taking into account Namibia’s uniqueness. Among the many challenges that face MSMEs are the high cost of technology, low volume of purchases, lack of business and skills training, limited markets and shortcomings in product design and development. An integrated dynamic approach that includes strengthening supply chains, reforming national institutions, establishing co-operatives, and building strong networks and public–private sector partner ships is generating positive results for MSMEs in agriculture, gemstone mining, the textile and garment sector and other subsectors of the economy.


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