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Global SMEs look forward to more trade opportunities with India

Leading industry and trade representatives from different countries tabled the challenges and opportunities presented to SMEs in their respective economies at the recently held 15th CII SME Global Summit in Delhi.

, ET Online|
Dec 24, 2018, 11.05 AM IST
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Moderated by Alka Arora, Joint Secretary (SME), Ministry of MSME, the session saw participation from delegates of Zambia, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Mutual recognition agreements between countries that can help facilitate trade more effectively is key to the growth of SMEs globally while countering challenges of product development, information flow and infrastructural bottlenecks at play.

Leading industry and trade representatives from different countries tabled the challenges and opportunities presented to SMEs in their respective economies at the recently held 15th CII SME Global Summit in Delhi.

Moderated by Alka Arora, Joint Secretary (SME), Ministry of MSME, the session saw participation from delegates of Zambia, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Piyush Srivastava, Additional Development Commissioner, Ministry of MSME shed light on how 20 more technology centres have been set up to help MSMEs. He said that while earlier the concentration was more on West, now there has been a greater emphasis on the ‘look East’ policy. “We want to make it a friendly neighbourhood. The first thing for trade that is very important is the ease of travel. Secondly, there needs to be a set of shared cultural values - a desire to work together with developing countries should exist,” he asserted. He added that detailed information on portals of SMEs in other locations can aid in understanding the culture of every country.

Speaking on the opportunities in Zambia, Chabuka J Kawesha, Vice President Services, Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACC) highlighted that 75% of their GDP is influenced by SMEs. Talking of the areas for investment, Kawesha said that their policy allows trade and big markets are competing on a big scale in Zambia.

Appreciating the efforts of the Indian government, Kawesha spoke of the Indo Zambia Bank which is a joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Government of India. “The history between India and Zambia goes a very long way and cuts across the whole continent of Africa. SMEs can help to enhance our bilateral relationship between India and Africa continent,” he said.

In a similar stance, Tandin Wangchuk, Vice President, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), said that the government in the 11th five year plan identified SME as one of the jewels for Bhutanese which can address employment and poverty. He revealed that Bhutan SMEs are 85% of the total establishment but are also dominated by micro enterprises with one or two individuals at the helm and no scope of expansion.

Urging the Ministry of MSME in India to intervene with their government to counter challenges, Wangchuk cited lack of sufficient access to finance, lack of HR, low level of technology and inadequate access to business development services and quality education as some major deterrents.

Drawing attention to the vast range of possibilities in Bhutan, Wangchuk gave examples of how Bhutan is well equipped to grow many high value products such as those used for extraction of essential oils and medicines. Bamboo and cane craft, he said, is also Bhutan’s expertise.

From Nepal, Dinesh Shreshta, President, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said that MSMEs provide 82% of employment in Nepal and identified potential sectors such as hydro power, tourism, agro and IT as significant.

Wrapping up the session, Shafquat Haider, Director, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, spoke on the facilities available in Bangladesh. “Facilities like flexible term bank loans, collateral free loans for women and cluster based infrastructure development approach exist. There are innovative financing models available here that support SMEs,” he said.

Haider added that reforms such as provision of one person company registration, single digit bank interest, and easier VAT regimes can greatly help the cause of SMEs. Market access, raw materials, knowledge, training, quality, infrastructure and product development are some key challenges affecting their efficiencies, he concluded.
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