The first International SME Convention organised by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises concluded in New Delhi on 24th April. 160 SMEs from 39 countries participated in the three day event where issues of international best practices on SME development and cooperation, global business opportunities for SMEs, problems faced by women entrepreneurs were discussed. Poland, with 15 SMEs, had the largest delegation, followed by Uzbekistan with 8 SMEs and Ghana with seven. Four hundred SMEs from India also participated.
23 agreements were signed between SMEs of India and SMEs of UK, Russia, Uzbekistan, Poland, Bhutan, Austria, Czech Republic, Cameroon and Sri Lanka. These agreements are in 12 sectors: food processing, agriculture, textiles, defence, ammunition, waste management, dairy products, coal, jewellery, health care and education. Four foreign SMEs have also signed expression of interest for entering into joint ventures with Government of India.
In his address during the Valedictory function the Secretary M/o MSME Dr. Arun Kumar Panda said that the ministry has planned to set up a Digital Trade Desk aimed at furthering more collaborations between SMEs of India and other countries and for exchange of data. He also said that another mega international event is being planned in a few months. He also said that going by the success of the Convention it is planned to make it an annual feature with 79 countries already showing interest to participate in the next Convention.