Sri Lankan chamber takes lead in forming MSME alliance between South Asia and Europe - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan chamber takes lead in forming MSME alliance between South Asia and Europe

Sri Lankan chamber takes lead in forming MSME alliance between South Asia and Europe

A pact between Sri Lanka’s Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) and a European entrepreneur group inked in Vienna, Austria has opened the much-needed channel of premium European knowledge transfer for the Lankan MSMEs, the Daily FT has reported.
“Our Cooperation Agreement with Hungary-based European Association for Trade-Crafts-Industries (EIVHGI) aims at supporting the MSMEs in the entire South Asian region from which the Sri Lankan MSMEs too are invited to benefit,” COSMI President Nawaz Rajabdeen has been quoted as saying in the local media.
“The aim of the path-breaking COSMI-EIVHGI Agreement is to promote ‘business partnerships’ between Europe and South Asian countries. As an emerging market, South Asia holds great potential – after all the region’s economies are driven by their MSMEs, totalling more than 70 million. Partnerships as these therefore are the much-needed spur for the region’s MSMEs to step into next levels. This agreement is also an important milestone in post-COVID industrial and skills development for Sri Lankan MSMEs as it also facilitates premium European trade, craft, industry knowledge transfer to them. We at COSMI are very much looking forward to working with EIVHGI especially given the trade-crafts-industry footprint of the Budapest based EIVHGI has,” Rajabdeen has said.
According to reports, founded in 1980, EIVHGI (Europäischer Interessenverband Handel-Gewerbe-Industrie) is a powerful Trade-Crafts-Industries entrepreneur group represented within one of the most historical Chambers of Commerce of Europe-the Budapest based Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. EIVHGI has many elected representatives in the Hungarian Chamber and is a significant voice within it. Established in 1850, the Hungarian Chamber itself is one among the 26 full member Chambers of Commerce of the powerful AECCI (Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry). The signing of the agreement took place in Vienna, Austria in March between EIVHGI President Johann Forstinger and EIVHGI-International Economic Council the Chairman Prof. Dr. Norbert W. Knoll von Dornhoff and COSMI President Rajabdeen Nawaz Rajabdeen.
EIVHGI President Johann Forstinger has reportedly said, “Especially during the COVID pandemic and its threatening consequences for SMEs worldwide, our SME promoting organisations wish to send a clear signal of how important it is that business organisations cooperate internationally and take actions together to help SMEs to overcome the crisis effectively while supporting the economic development in their own interest and that of their employees. We are looking forward to a sustainable and successful cooperation effort and send you the very best regards from Vienna to Sri Lanka. Keep healthy and well.”
Sri Lanka has around one million registered SMEs while India (63 million), Pakistan (3.3 million) and Bangladesh (7.4 million) collectively pack around 73.7 million ‘SME population.’
EIVHGI’s Prof. Dr. Norbert has stated, “The promotion of business partnerships between South Asian and European SMEs combined with technology transfers in both directions will have high priority. As a next step we are working together to set out a timetable for the activities that should take priority.”

OSL take:

Sri Lanka is currently engaged in expanding and strengthening it’s bilateral and trade ties with foreign countries. The country already enjoys many trade agreements as well as trade concessions with many foreign countries. Given the Sri Lanka is fast emerging as a business destination in the South Asian region given it’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean, there’s much interest shown by foreign businesses/investors on engaging with the country. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the possibilities of forming partnerships/joint ventures with local counterparts to expand their businesses/ investments.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20210628/Z_8

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