By Malcolm Durham, Chairman of FD Solutions

It’s easy to feel weighed down by the depressing news coming out of the UK and also very easy to assume that overseas everything is much rosier.

Well in parts of the Philippines it is. Small and medium enterprises from the Cordillera region registered P66.57 million (£1m) in cash and booked sales in a recent trade fair, with some manufacturers running out of goods to sell before even displaying their products.

Meanwhile in China experts say the situation faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in coastal regions is worsening. "To ease the problem, the nation will introduce more active fiscal and financial policies to help SMEs to survive", said Wang Yadong, deputy director of the employment promotion department at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (now that's what I call a job title).

SMEs represent about 90 per cent of firms in Nigeria. But their contribution to GDP remains insignificant. The Debt Management Office said "it is prepared to support SMEs that wished to raise long-term funds from the Nigerian debt market, but in order for this to work there is an urgent need for operators of this form of business to restructure their operations and processes, by imbibing principles of corporate governance, so as to be able to attract such funds".

So there you have it, pockets of success, a poor economic climate and vague promises of action from politicians that may or may not produce something positive.

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