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India pushes MSME association of Indian Ocean Rim countries

21 January 2017

India on Friday finalised a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation among organisations, associations and various institutions engaged in the development of medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME) of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member countries.

IORA has, meanwhile, created a special fund to carry out activities under the MoU.

The union ministry of medium, small and micro enterprises finalised the MoU on MSME cooperation with Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member countries.

The MoU will take effect for each party upon signing by five countries. The MoU would be signed soon at an appropriate forum.

IORA Secretariat at Mauritius will be the coordinating agency for the implementation of the MoU. IORA special fund created for the member countries to use it for to carrying out activities envisaged under this MoU.

The MoU follows a workshop on MSME cooperation amongst IORA member countries organized in pursuance of the commitment made by India in the Economic Business Conference - II (EBC- II) held in Dubai in April 2016. The ministry of MSME in consultation with the ministry of external affairs and IORA secretariat organised the workshop, wherein 29 representatives from 14 member countries, viz., Mozambique, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Comoros, Kenya, Seychelles, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Australia, UAE and Yemen participated.

The focus areas of the MoU are:

  • Finalise linkages and alliances amongst MSMEs organisations, associations and various institutions engaged in MSME development in their countries;
  • Exchange best practices, policies and programmes for MSME development;
  • Exchange greater involvement of MSMEs in the global supply chain, increase their market access;
  • Promote youth and women's economic empowerment; and
  • Encourage synergies with the IORA forum.

MoU for MSME cooperation amongst Indian Ocean Rim Association member countries will provide an appropriate platform to IORA MSMEs to interact with each other, participate in trade fairs, facilitate buyer-seller meetings and visits of delegations, acquire appropriate technology and explore trade and investment opportunities. The MoU will enhance market access, promote access to finance, promote innovation as a key competitive advantage for MSME, build capacity in management and entrepreneurship.

MSMEs constitute more than 90 per cent of all business enterprises in the world and provide nearly 70 per cent of global employment. The overwhelming majority of MSMEs in the developing world are micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees. India has more than 48 million MSMEs. These contribute more than 45 per cent of India's industrial output, 40 per cent of the country's total exports and create 1.3 million jobs every year.

India has already signed memorandum of understandings with 18 countries for cooperation in MSME sector. The National Small Industries Corporation of India, a public sector enterprise under the ministry of MSME has 34 MoUs with its counterpart organisations of foreign countries for cooperation in MSME sector

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