Sri Lankan small businesses to help promote ethnic harmony

ECONOMYNEXT – A business program to promote ethnic harmony between Sri Lanka’s main communities will be launched next month, supporting small and medium enterprises in the island’s north and south to strengthen ties and expand markets. 

The ‘SME-ProLink: Unity Through Business’ program will bring together 30 SMEs from the Northern Province and 30 SMEs from the Southern Province to interact and share experiences, a statement said.

It aims to “link the Northern and Southern SMEs to strengthen business and social relationships and promote unity and harmony among communities.”

This will be done along with technical service providers such as Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI), universities and the corporates at one venue to exchange knowledge and to create linkages. 

The two-day program to be held in southern Matara on 29 and 30th September, 2015 targets food and beverage sector SMEs who have been in the industry for more than 2 years and have minimum annual turnover of 2 million rupees.

They will be helped to enhance their business and social linkages, expand business contacts, and strengthen skills and capacities along with technology transfer.

“The event will focus on educating SMEs on improving quality of products and services provided, introduction of technology to enhance production capacities and certification,” the statement said.

The initiative is a partnership between the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and German development organization Deutsche Gesellschaft fÜr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

“GIZ and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce firmly believe that this initiative will create opportunities for SMEs in two provinces to build new market linkages, facilitate expansion of their businesses to other parts of the country and address some of the regional economic disparities faced by SMEs.”  

SME-ProLink will provide a platform for business to business meetings with entrepreneurs and corporate buyers, providing the SMEs with an opportunity to extend their market share.

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Regional Chambers in the Northern Province and the Southern Province will facilitate the program, when the initiative reaches the respective regions.  (Colombo/August 24 2015)
 

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