Govt. to encourage SSIs in knowledge-based sectorsMinister of State for Small Scale Industries and rural and agro industries, Smt. Vasundhra Raje on 10.04.2001 said that government would encourage setting up of more small and medium enterprises in the knowledge based industries such as IT and bio-technology as they require less capital and can ramp up faster.
"Knowledge based industries are likely to acquire greater prominence and SMEs are likely to come up in the industry segments such as pharmaceutical, IT and bio-technology sectors". Smt. Raje said that Government would act as a facilitator for providing support to SMEs in the era of globalisation which includes setting up of venture capital funds. It would also focus its energies towards providing human resource development support alongwith establishing quality certification facilities and disseminate information on world trade organisation (WTO).
IFC, Exim Bank and WestLB form venture for SMEsThe International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and German Bank WestLB have come together to form a company, Global Trade Finance Pvt. Limited to focus on export factoring and small ticket forfaiting for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India.
"The concept is to promote market-driven export financing solutions for Indian SMEs that are operating in an increasingly competitive world trade environment", a statement issued by IFC said.
The initial equity capital of Global/ Trade Finance will be Rs.45 crore (roughly $ 10 million), of which, 40 percent will be held by WestLB, 35 percent by Exim Bank and the remaining 25 percent by IFC.
Global Trade Finance will service small and medium domestic exporters with new products such as factoring that will provide credit assessment and protection, financing, bill collection and small item forfaiting that will enable the exporters to offer longer-term financing to importers of machinery and equipments.
As the demand for open account trading expands globally, the need has arisen for local exporters to offer similar terms to importers to be competitive. Global Trade Finance will step in to service that need. IFC's investment in this project is part of its global strategy to assist SME exporters in developing countries.
IFC's financing consists of an equity investment of upto $ 2.5 million equivalent and future loan financing of $ 10 million.
EU assistance for SMEs to improve quality systemThe Indian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association - (IEEMA) would be conducting a quality system implementation project for 15 domestic small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the aegis of the Asia invest programme of the European Union (EU).
"The whole idea behind conducting this programme is to improve the quality of SME products and prepare them for competing in the European markets", IEEMA Vice President, Shri U.P. Mahendru said at a press conference in New Delhi in April.
EU's ambassador Michael Cailouet said, "There has been a 23 percent increase in trade between India and the EU during the last year. SMEs alone accounted for almost 50 percent of total exports. There lies an immense opportunity for SMEs to penetrate European markets. Such a programme would help them to understand the business environment in EU".
Policy initiatives for SSIs in the Year 2000