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Indian SMEs upbeat about future business growth prospects

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 12 (UNI) Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are poised for an optimistic current and future growth within the Asian region, says the findings of the second annual UPS AsianBusiness Monitor (UPS ABM II) survey.

Confidence is evident from the survey's fiindings that 43 per cent of the respondent Indian SMEs are begining to see India equalling China as one of the two biggest growth stories in region with ten cent even averring that India will outpace China.

''77 per cent of SMEs in India have said the business prospects are better,'' the survey pointed out, while simultaneously highlighting the fact that SMEs in India have the best outlook in the region with 71 per cent of them expecting to increase their workforce.'' Indian SMEs also lead the Asian continent on competitiveness as Asian SMEs rate Indian SMEs high on this parameter. ''There is a nine per cent increase between 2004 and 2005, the biggest jump across the region,'' says the survey.

However, it is not just India's SMEs but SMEs in the Asian region as a whole which enjoy bright future prospects, says the survey which has studied the competitiveness issues faced by the continent's SMEs.

''With intra-Asia trade flourishing and Asia's emerging markets gaining a stronger foothold in the global economy, Asia's SMEs are bullish on the region's prospects'', the survey points out.

On a cautionary note, the survey, however, points out certain challenges that could affect India's long-term sustainability. These include factors such as government policies and regulations, access to cash flow, funding or capital.

One important finding of the survey relates to, is obstacles affecting the region's ability to maintain sustainable growth. Most SME leaders across Asia are unanimous to point out that shortage of qualified staff, innovation and funding and capital remain the biggest obstacles to Asian SMEs' competitiveness.

''SME leaders in India cited supply chain efficiency and transportation infrastructure as the biggest obstacles to SME competitiveness, factors considered both important and lacking,'' asys the survey.

One point on which Indian SMEs differ with their Asian counterparts relates to trading patterns. While 69 per cent of Asian SMEs see growth in intra-Asia trade and 71 per cent expect Asia's economic power to continue to grow this year, Indian SMEs sing a different tune by rating the US as the strongest prospect for growth in trade volume.

According to the survey, 93 per cent of Indian SME leaders consider IT&T as the most important industry sector in India followed by 89 per cent for building and construction and 82 per cent each for financial and utilities and energy sectors.

''The importance of transport and logistics has fallen when compared to last year when it was rated important by 87 per cent of Indian SME leaders,'' the survey noted.

UNI JJ PP VKG1644

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