SME policy to be made public soon

National Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Policy, developed by Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) has been completed and is ready to be published, says Rishard Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce.

Moreover, Cabinet approval has also received for the SME Authority and its structure is being worked out by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce officials at present. The Minister was addressing the inauguration of “Aadhayam 2017” exhibition held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

“These are being set up to facilitate and develop our SMEs and not to regulate them. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe’s vision is to create a million jobs without taking funds from the general public.”

The Small Medium Enterprise (SME) sector of Sri Lanka has been identified as a strategic sector in the policy objectives of the Government. It is also a driver of change for inclusive economic growth, regional development, youth employment and poverty reduction.

“There are a little more than one million registered SMEs and MSMEs in Sri Lanka. Each provides employment to three people on average, especially in rural areas. We believe that SMEs are 75% of the total number of enterprises in the economy providing 45% of the employment and contributing to 52% of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP). With the increasing trend of globalization the SME sector has become a driving force for “growth and development.”

In a bid to develop youth entrepreneurship, National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) which comes under the purview of the Industry and Commerce Ministry is creating Sri Lanka’s first ever SME incubator at a cost of Rs 60 million. The first SME incubator is now almost ready and is located in Makandura in Wayamba University.”

The incubator will teach many future entrepreneurs about creating their own businesses. Another key role of this incubator is technology transfer to new SMEs and entrepreneurs.

In addition, on the instructions of Ministry of Industry and Commerce, NEDA has made a request to Lanka Sathosa and private sector supermarkets such as Cargills, Keells and Arpico to provide shelf-space in their super markets for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs). “It was also requested to provide them at concessionary rates to market their products. Instead of providing shelf space to them they agreed to market their products in the super market.”

 


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