The SME Machinery, Technology & Services Exhibition 2011, which is the exclusive exhibition for SMEs engaged in the enterprises of industrial, agricultural, livestock and handicrafts, was declared opened by Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre, BMICH yesterday (10 June), with the participation of senior officials of the ministries, Board of Directors of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, large number of regional entrepreneurs, school students and exhibitors from over 90 stalls.
The SME exhibition was organised by the Small and Medium Enterprise Developers (SMED), the SME development arm of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) with the fullest support and blessings of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for its sixth consecutive year. Also the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development and the Ministry of Agriculture were joined as associate ministries.
Addressing the gathering at the inauguration, Minister Bathiudeen said that the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) announced on 3 June, that the world manufacturing output has recovered from global recession. According to the UNIDO, among the blocks of developing economies, Asia showed the strongest first quarter performance of 13.3 per cent and we in Asia are part of this new trend and not left out.
Further he said that the World Bank has announced that Sri Lanka is expected to lead South Asia’s strong economic growth together with India and Bangladesh. He stressed that SMES to be a key driver in our present and future manufacturing growth. Adding to his speech he continued that industrial modernisation and capacity building is what is needed for our industries.
A total of 80 per cent of the private sector industries fall into small and medium category and therefore no doubt of the lead role played by them, the Minister added. He said it is essential to make the SME sector stronger and show the world the real capacity of our SMEs.
Expressing his pleasure at taking part in organising the SME Exhibition 2011, which started in 2006, he commended the initiative of integration of all three aspects; machinery, technology and services needed and more vital for SME development as a new addition to the exhibition. He said SME seminars organised along with the exhibition will show the SMEs the way to be innovative by using the existing resources.
Minister Bathiudeen concluding his speech said this was not a mere exhibition but a national platform that showed the new role of our SME industries. W. M. K. R. Balachandra, Actg. Secretary General, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Kumar Mallimaratchi, Snr. Vice President, Kosala Wickramanyake, Immediate Past President, Nawaz Rajabdeen, Past President and Dr. Thusitha Tennakoon, Secretary General of the FCCISL were among the distinguished gathering.