Secretary (MSME) Shri BB Swain has said that the IBSA forum plays an important role in creating awareness about the strengths, opportunities, and challenges of MSMEs and helps in creating markets for finished products and provide hand-holding support to MSMEs through capacity building trainings, exchange of best practices and technologies. Inaugurating the IBSA 6th Tri-nation Virtual Conference on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), Shri Swain stated that these meetings are being held with the objective to promote trade, understand trade barriers, facilitate investments through collective efforts towards better collaborations amongst the three nations.
IBSA is a unique forum that brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents, facing similar challenges.
The Conference was hosted by the Ministry of MSME last week in association with the National Small Industries Corporation Ltd (NSIC), Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE), Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), South Africa.
Mr. Vijayendra, CMD, NSIC during his address informed that the main theme of the 6th IBSA Conference was “Democracy for Demography and Development”. He briefed about the various topics of technical sessions to be discussed. He emphasized that there is much to share and learn from each other’s experiences and best practices in terms of regulatory environment, technology support, access to finance and initiatives are taken amid Covid-19 pandemic by IBSA members.
Mr. Eduardo Diogo- Director of Administration and Finance of (Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service) SEBRAE, Brazil said that despite the challenges faced due to Covid 19 pandemic, SMEs are still reinventing and generating employment and IBSA needs to work towards their sustainable development.
Mr. Lindokuhle Mkhumane, Director General, (Department of Small BusinessDevelopment) DSBD, South Africa emphasized that issues like poverty, inequality and unemployment can be addressed by promoting MSMEs. He said that youth and women should also be skilled to promote inclusivity.
Ms. Mercy Epao, Joint Secretary (SME), Ministry of MSME, talked about the contribution of MSME sector in India’s socio-economic development and various policy intervention of the Govt. of India to help the growth of MSMEs in India. She also spoke about the impact of Covid19 pandemic on the MSMEs.
The IBSA 6th Tri-Nations Virtual Conference had four Technical sessions divided into two days in which experts and senior officials from Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India; Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE), Brazil; Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) & Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), South Africa deliberated on various topics like- Enabling MSMEs in National Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Innovation & Inclusivity, Integration into Global Value Chains, Sustainable Development: Preparedness of IBSA to deal with COVID-19 like crisis in future.
The conference is an important initiative to enhance cooperation amongst the IBSA members in MSME sector synergizing the competencies and inherent strengths of each country. A roadmap will be drawn based on the deliberations held during the sessions to strengthen MSMEs networking, to help overcome the challenges and make the MSMEs competitive on the global platform.