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Sri Lanka vows third-gen economic reforms, unveils first SME incubator and national policy


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Budda Sasana, Sustainable Development and Wild Life Gamini Jayawickreme Perera, Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Ministry Chinthaka Lokuhetti  and Director of NEDA Lakshman Wijeyewardana at Sri Lanka’s first Incubator and Technology Transfer Centre (ITTC) for SMEs in Makandura yesterday

 

 

 

The Government yesterday unveiled the country’s first-ever SME incubator and vowed its third generation economic reforms shall be led by innovation, technology transfer and SMEs.

“We need to change our traditional mindsets and think anew,” said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday at the Makandura Industrial Zone of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. 

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was addressing the launch event of Sri Lanka’s first ever Incubator and Technology Transfer Centre (ITTC) for SMEs, a joint collaboration between the National Enterprises Development Authority (NEDA), Wayamba University and the Malaysian Technology Development Cooperation. 

Cabinet approval was first received in July 2016 and the project, due to its importance, was fast-tracked to be completed at the earliest. At this event Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also launched NEDA’s new web portal www.neda.gov.lk.

“We are planning large-scale industry zones beyond Hambantota and all the way to Wellawaya and on this side, extending to the Wayamba Province,” said Wickremesinghe. 

“For us to go into our next phase, we need more and more innovations,” he added.

“There are a little more than one million registered SMEs and MSMEs in Sri Lanka providing employment to three people on average,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. “We believe that SMEs are more than 70% of the total number of enterprises in the economy providing 45% of the employment and contributing to 52% of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP). NEDA, under my ministry, has been taking many initiatives to develop this sector.  My ministry and NEDA have introduced the national SME policy and national SME authority and we are handing over the first national SME policy to the Prime Minister at this event. 

“Work is also progressing on the first ever SME authority of Sri Lanka. This authority will facilitate the development of this sector. It will not be a regulator but will help micro enterprises to grow to a small scale and small enterprises to grow up to medium and larger enterprises. In fact NEDA has been actively working to develop not only SMEs but even works to create new SMEs. The SME incubator launched today is the first ever SME incubator in Sri Lanka and this is not just an incubator. It is also the first ever technology transfer centre for Sri Lankan SMEs. Sri Lanka’s SME sector is active across many sectors but few are in tech. This centre will focus on helping to establish technology SMEs across the country. The Malaysian Technology Development Cooperation has given us their expertise and supported us to establish Sri Lanka’s first SME incubator.”

NEDA Chairman Omar Khamil said that the incubator is part of the third generation economic reforms of the Unity Government. “As our Prime Minster said, our reforms are led by innovation, technology and SMEs,” he stated.  

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has invested Rs. 60 million in this pioneering tech incubator.

 


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