WAIFC Publication on "Supporting SMEs with Sustained Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery"
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the world in 2020, we began to see the scale of the impact it would have on SME development and SME finance availability. The inevitable economic downturn placed severe strain on SMEs globally and demanded a national and international response.
The World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC), promoting the benefits of sharing best practices and new financial and regulatory initiatives, commissioned a survey of its members on the ways that financial centers globally, alongside national governments, central banks, regulators, and the supranationals are responding to the economic crisis, specifically asking for information on how urgently needed support to SMEs is being developed, directed and delivered.
Commenting on the release of this landmark report, Jennifer Reynolds, Chairwoman of the WAIFC, stated:
“We are pleased to share this report on SME Economic Recovery as part of our contribution to our broader work on the role of financial centers in supporting the global economic recovery. The response from national and international policymakers and the financial industry across the world has been urgent, decisive, and targeted in support of the SME sector.”
James Martin, CEO of AIFC Business Connect, Astana International Financial Centre, commented on the report, saying:
“The pandemic has caused enormous changes in the world economy and forced us to reconsider its course and implement measures to soften the impact of COVID-19. As with other leading macro-economies, the Kazakh government has delivered a strong response with a sizable stimulus program to support the SME sector and the economy, as the WAIFC Report presented today highlights.”
Frédéric de Laminne, Member of the WAIFC Board and Secretary-General of the Belgian Finance Center, said:
“The pandemic has deeply impacted many sectors, but SMEs have suffered more as their activity is usually more focused than large companies, and they lack the financial muscle needed to support an extended period of lock-down. They have to be saved!”
Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director of the WAIFC, added:
“SMEs are the backbone of our economies. We must support them in surviving the current pandemic and then smoothly entering a sustainable economic recovery phase.”
You can download the report here.
The World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) is a non-profit association registered in Belgium, representing 18 leading international financial centers of four continents. WAIFC members are city governments, associations, and similar institutions developing and promoting their financial centers.
WAIFC facilitates cooperation between its members, the exchange of best practices, and communication with the general public.