The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have to be strengthened to play a bigger role in the country’s economic prosperity. He was addressing the 21st International Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises, organized by the World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME), here today. The Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, the Minister of Industry, Government of Bangladesh, Mr. Amir Hossain Amu, the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Co-operatives, Government of Mauritius, Mr. Soomilduth Bholah, the President of WASME, Mr. Alhaji Babale Umaru Girei and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that the SMEs contribute up to 45 per cent of India’s GDP and employs nearly 46 crore people, which is the second largest workforce in the country after the agricultural sector, and is growing at 11.5 per cent annually. The theme of the conference – “Achieving inclusive and sustainable industrialization by promoting SMEs” was aptly chosen as climate change and global warming are stark realities affecting the people, fauna and flora all over the world, he added.
The Vice President said that in sustaining this planet and ensuring a greener future for posterity, the SMEs can play a crucial role by adopting practices that will not impact the environment and harm the present and future generations. Countries will have to strengthen their capabilities and explore new ways to solve development challenges, by involving various actors, processes and types of governance, source of finance and encouraging collaboration and cooperation across stakeholders, sectors and regions, he added.
The Vice President expressed his confidence that this global convention will serve as an important platform for various stakeholders to network, share their experiences and more importantly to highlight and emulate good practices. He further said that this conference in India has great significance for both India and other participating countries as India has achieved a remarkable improvement in “Ease of Doing Business” ranking from 130 to 100. India is also focusing on creating an ecosystem for promoting entrepreneurship SME sector, he added.