SMEs can transfer benefits of economic growth to poor

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Kochi, Dec 6 (UNI) The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have the potential to transfer the benefits of economic growth to the poor and remove inequality in this globalisation era, Commonwealth Secretariat Special Advisory Services Division Director Jose Maurel has said.

Delivering the inaugural speech at the seventh 'Commonwealth Small Business Competitiveness Development Programme' here yesterday, he said, ''pro-poor growth within sustainable economic development is the foundation of Commonwealth's work in the area of SME competitiveness.'' He said the members of the 'World Body' strived to enable, augment and implement competitive policies and strategies to build and strengthen institutional capacities of policy makers, support institutions, practitioners and entrepreneurs in the SME sector.

''India is a laboratory for innovation in SMEs and the rest of the Commonwealth countries have a lot to learn from the country's experience,'' he noted.

Mr Maurel said in the six previous programmes between November 2004 and March 2007, over 350 policy makers participated and nine memoranda of co-operation were signed between Indian institutions and their counterparts from other Commonwealth countries.

Coir Board Chairman A C Jose said India's SME sector was growing at a fast rate and the 35 per cent of the total exports were contributed by these enterprises.

He said more than six lakh people were working in the coir sectors and out of which 85 per cent were women.

Nearly 55 delgates from 28 commonwealth countries would participate in the six-day programme.

The programme would aim to develop competitiveness of small business activities for Commonwealth developing states, using Kerala's socio-economic development model.

The event with the theme 'Resource-based SMEs as a source of Employment Generation and Poverty Alleviation,' would focus on issues of sustainable pro-poor growth in the agro and rural sectors.

During the course of this programme, major export orders and collaborative agreements would be finalised between Kerala's coir and agro-processing sectors and other Commonwealth countries.

UNI

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