UNSG Panel Report could derail SME growth
The Darusman Report may have an adverse impact on the economy and in
particular the Small and Medium Scale (SME) sector industries in Sri
Lanka said President, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL),
He said that the Chamber hopes that the Report would not have an
adverse impact on the economy but if it does, it would be the SMEs who
will be the most affected.
“NCCSL has done a great deal of work to assist and promote SME sector
enterprises who make a salient contribution to the economy. The SMEs are
the backbone of the economy”, Hettigoda said.
The NCCSL supports over 1,200 SME enterprises with financial
assistance and the imparting of technological know-how through the SME
educational program launched in 2006. Hettigoda said the Report could
erode confidence of foreign investors on Sri Lanka and added that it
could derail the economic progress of the country.
“Sri Lanka has emerged from long standing crisis and is hopeful of
achieving economic progress. Adverse criticisms could tarnish the image
of the country and hamper progress,” he said.
Sri Lanka is poised to achieve eight percent GDP growth this year and
double its per capita income by 2015 from the current US $ 2,000. Sound
fiscal policy, increase in foreign reserves and inflation under check
have been hailed by IMF and many donor agencies.
“Sri Lanka has recorded a 48 percent export growth despite the
withdrawal of the GSP Plus. The shift from traditional markets has
helped enhance exports”, the Chamber chief said. Secretary, NCCSL,
Sujeiva Samaraweera said that during the past four to five years the
NCCSL has been focusing on SME development and added that all these
efforts would be of no use if the Report has an impact on the sector.
“It would be the newly formed SMEs who would be the most affected as
foreign buyers will not want to reject their long standing exporters”,
Samaraweera said. Samaraweera said that if Sri Lanka loses its
international market due to the eroding of confidence among the foreign
business community the impact will mainly be on the SMEs who commenced
business recently. “The North and the East SMEs will be the worst
affected sector as these enterprises were revived a few years ago.The
entrepreneurs in the North and the East are capable of making a vital
contribution to the economy”, Samaraweera said.
The NCCSL, one of Sri Lanka’s pioneer business chambers promoting SME
development participates in government policy-making and voices concerns
of the SME sector enterprises in the country.