SME development needs holistic approach - Coomaraswamy | Sunday Observer

SME development needs holistic approach - Coomaraswamy

Sri Lanka needs to take a holistic approach to develop Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with a major focus on helping the SMEs access markets and link them with supply chains, says a top official.

Speaking at the Industrial Excellence Awards 2017 ceremony organized by the Sri Lanka Chamber for Small and Medium Industry last week, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy says while there are four levels for government intervention, marketing is the biggest challenge among them. “There are four levels at which we need to intervene effectively. Training with entreprenural, financial or technical skills etc. Secondly, inputs meaning resources such as access to technology and thirdly, access to finance. If we can manage macroeconomic policy well and keep interest rates down, then access to finance becomes manageable,” the governor pointed out. However, he said that in his personal view, the biggest challenge and the area where Sri Lanka has done the least so far, is marketing.

“In my view you need to move backwards. If you find the market, then credit comes.

If you go into a bank and you have a guaranteed market to sell into, they will give you the money. That is where we have not worked hard enough to see how we can link our SMEs,” the governor highlighted.

He said that micro enterprises should be able to link up with supply chains in their own locality while the SMEs in turn should link into national supply chains, regional supply chains and global supply chains.

“That is something we have not worked hard enough. Our cold chain has not been developed. We don’t have storage capacity and there are so many things that need to be done to ensure that there is capacity to link into supply chains,” the governor said.