Govt planning online marketplace for MSMEs: Gadkari

The government is planning to develop a portal for creating an online market place for MSMEs, on the lines of Alibaba, where all stakeholders can find the demand and supply inputs, union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari has said.

Inaugurating the MSME Day 2019 celebrations and the second International SME Convention in New Delhi today, the minister said there is an urgent need to encourage research and innovation in the sector and for this, small units should be allowed to collaborate with global entities and adopt the latest technology and best practices and to promote marketing.
The minister said the proposed online platform will allow people to post new ideas, suggestions and innovations. This will help develop a bank of innovation and ideas where all stakeholders can share their suggestions, technologies etc, he said. 
Gadkari emphasised the need to diversify the MSME sector into potential areas, especially in the rural and agricultural sectors. He said the International SME convention can play a crucial role as it is a great platform for discussing and sharing the best practices for enterprise development.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of making India a $5 trillion economy can only be fulfilled only by ensuring the growth of the MSME sector in the county. For this, it will be his endeavour to raise the contribution of MSME sector to the country's GDP to 50 per cent from the present 29 per cent, and ensure that it gave employment to at least 150 million people against the 111 million at present.
Minister of state for MSME, and Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, who spoke on the occasion, said so many Indians are now involved in their own enterprises and are in positions to provide employment to people. He said that the MSME sector has immense potential as a driver for economic growth and employment generation in the country.
Speaking earlier, secretary in the MSME ministry Arun Kumar Panda said the MSME sector is the backbone of the country's economy. He said the sector is changing very fast. With the coming of GST, many micro and small enterprises have come into the fold of the formal economy, which is a very good sign, he said.
The minister also gave away awards to 100 SMEs selected by a jury from among 34,011 nominations from across India that are being felicitated under the aegis of the 6th Annual India SME 100 Awards.
The convention is being organised to help boost international competitiveness of the Indian MSMEs by making them aware of global trends and practices and standards in export financing, along with experience sharing by successful exporters.
It will provide the MSMEs a platform to understand the opportunities in the international market and encourage them to evaluate options and opportunities of international trade, disseminate information on global market demand and ease of export financing and developing strategies to penetrate new markets.
About 1,200 selected entrepreneurs from India are participating in the convention, besides 175 participants from 44 countries and ambassadors from 15 European, African and Latin American countries. 
Countries participating in the convention include Bahrain, Maldives, Italy, Hungary, Austria, San Marino, Sri Lanka, USA, Portugal, Tunisia, El Salvador, Sudan, UAE, Zimbabwe, Gabon, Peru, Panama,  Guatemala , Iran, Argentina , Canada, Bhutan, Malawi, New Zealand, Fiji, Spain , Colombia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Senegal , Saudi Arabia , Rwanda.
Focus sectors for B2B meetings to be held as part of the convention include  Agribusiness, Agricultural Implements, Machinery and Food Processing, Industrial, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Machinery, Tools and Equipment, Transportation and Automotive, Clean Tech (including waste, water and renewable energy), Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology , Wellness and Healthcare, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Apparel, Garments, Textiles, Furnishing and Leather , Consumer and Industrial Electronics, Design and Manufacturing , Infrastructure and Construction, Tourism and Hospitality, Logistics, Aviation and Shipping, Information and Communication Technology and Business Process Management, Creative Services Industry (including Media, Publishing, Entertainment and other Services).