- State Minister Semasinghe asserts need to comply with int’l standards for MSMEs to secure a place in int’l market
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Although Sri Lanka receives continuous support from both domestic and international agencies to uplift its rural economy, the products and services of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have failed to reach the international market, due to issues pertaining to standards.
“The biggest problem we are faced with is, we have production but it doesn’t meet the market requirement. We need to have more dialogue around this area,” said Samurdhi, Household Economy, Micro Finance, Self-Employment and Business Development State Minister Shehan Semasinghe this week.
Semasinghe stressed that more focused efforts are required to uplift the rural economy, so that they can grow to become efficient and make meaningful contributions to the national economy.
Semasinghe made his comments while addressing a webinar on Wednesday that was focused on highlighting the challenges faced by women in the MSME sector of the country.
He asserted the need to comply with the international standards so that the local MSMEs can secure a place in the international market.
Reflecting similar sentiments, Good Market Co-Founder Achala Samara Divakara pointed out that while there is a series of programmes carried out to assist MSMEs, the efforts are not connected, thus creating the need for a more coordinated effort among the government and agencies.
Divakara also stressed the need to create a level playing field for the rural-based MSMEs to present their product to the market, for which they need to be properly guided.
The panel discussion that was themed ‘It’s Her Time Now’, called for policies to recognise men, women and youth as heterogeneous, as there are different social and economic stratifications and processes of exclusion and inclusion operating in society.
Therefore, to ensure that policies are inclusive and address the fundamentals of gender discrimination among different social and economic groups, the panel called for deeper analysis.
Furthermore, the discussion highlighted that policies directly related to the SME sector should be complemented by supporting policies in education, higher education and vocational and tertiary education, so that both genders are provided with equal opportunities.