‘75% of our exporters are SMEs’

The Island

14/03/2014

‘75% of our exporters are SMEs’

Sujatha Weerakoon (DG-EDB-far left) addresses the audience at EDB facilitated Internationalisation of SMEs session by PUM Netherlands senior experts on March 14. Seated at head table (at centre) is Dutch Tech Transfer Expert Cees Van Dijl.

SMEs are the backbone of our economy and more importantly, they are at the level of exports too! "Of the more than 4000 of Sri Lankan export firms, 75% are SMEs. Therefore we have a huge responsibility to groom them to become large scale export firms" said Sujatha Weerakoon (DG-EDB).

DG-EDB Weerakoon was addressing the EDB facilitated "Internationalisation of SMEs session by PUM Netherlands senior experts" session held at EDB on March 14.

"Large firms do the exports on their own but we have to have a strong second tier. EDB is looking at SMEs very seriously, closely, allocating a whole division within EDB for its development. PUM senior experts are offering their valuable services free of charge and we can utilise their services to strengthen SME capacity building and go to the next level in exports. I am thankful for PUM Netherlands and more importantly to the government of Netherlands for the support given to us. In fact, the government of Netherlands has increased its expert supply quota to Sri Lanka."

"The Netherland government backed PUM Netherlands senior experts program operates in 70 countries in almost all sectors" said Dutch Tech Transfer Expert Cees Van Dijl, addressing the event. "We connect entrepreneurs in developing countries and emerging markets with senior experts from the Netherlands each of whom has gained at least 30 years of experience in a business environment. Our Sri Lanka support and consultancy are absolutely free! Our 3,200 volunteers advise 2,000 entrepreneurs annually in almost every field imaginable: from logistics to welding techniques, and from the hotel & catering trade to carpentry. PUM is already supporting more than 350 SMEs in Sri Lanka" Van Dijl added.