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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2648

FCCISL Machinery Exhibition to facilitate SME industrial development

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 15 March, ( Planning and other arrangement are on top gear for the third consecutive Machinery Exhibition - SME 2008 – The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) which has developed a particular interest towards SME Sector will be holding their Machinery Exhibition this year to be held from 15 – 18 May 2008 at the BMICH and all aspects of holding the Exhibition are now being finalized.

The Machinery Exhibition is organized by the Small and Medium Enterprise Developers (SMED) of FCCISL and SMED is a project of the FCCISL and Friedrich Noumann Stiftung (FNSt). Major focus of the Exhibition is to promote “Technology for Rural, Micro and SME Development”. This SME Show consists of Machinery, Ancillary Equipment, Processes, Method and New Technology covering 200 stalls.

The Exhibition is held in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrial Development and the associate partners are: Ministries of Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion; Science and Technology; Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development and World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME).

Samantha Abeywickrama, Secretary General/CEO, FCCISL said that the two earlier Exhibitions held in 2006 and 2007 were highly successful and with the past experience the scope of the Exhibition has been expanded to include a separate Automobile Accessory Pavilion with around 50 stalls.

He said the new pavilion will display automobile accessory manufacturers and dealers, automobile assembling companies and relevant other automobile products This year the Show is on a bigger scale and expects more than 200 trade stalls, Abeywickrama said. This would be a 25 percent increase over the last year.

There will be several pavilions such as eco friendly pavilion; inventors’ pavilion where it will feature new technologies and modern machinery. There will be a separate pavilion for the Small and Medium scale industry support service providers, financial service providers for SME sector and there will be a business development services providers and technology related service providers etc.

There is a long range of exhibits which includes: food processing, coconut based product manufacture; rice and other agro processing; dairy/farm equipment; metal working, non-ferrous/ferrous casting sector; plastics and fibre glass; rubber and rubber products machinery; leather/shoe making machinery; recycling/recovery machinery; silver and other metal recover; electrical machinery; tea machinery; coir processing machinery and the long range continues.

Abeywickrama said that there will be the Indian pavilion sponsored by the partner organization of FCCISL in India – The South Indian Manufacturers and said that they are specially targeting Combater in South India

He said that they have seen lot of micro scale and small scale enterprises, specially related to automobile industry that are coming up. There are garages employing 5 to 10 people, to service and repair automobiles. He said “You have to look at these Small and Medium scale enterprises. If you look at upholstery and cushion work we have lot of enterprises in that sector. Then there are service stations, spare-parts outlets for automobiles and if you look at Trishaws and motorcycles they have their own service providers and this Exhibition offers a place for them.”

He said that the automobile sector is becoming an important sector in the small and medium scale enterprises. The automobile pavilion will feature mainly automobile accessories and technologies.

He said that the Machinery Exhibition has fulfilled its desired purpose in the earlier occasions in attracting more and more small and medium scale entrepreneurs from the provinces in promoting machinery, equipment, accessories and appropriate technologies to suit their industries.

Abewickrama said that rural entrepreneurs from the provinces are an integral part of the economy and their industries support the export trend in the country. Promoting and encouraging them to use modern technology and machinery would enhance their production capacity, efficiency and increase productivity. Further he said that the use of modern technology and machinery would enhance quality and consistency which are vital in the export market that has now become extremely competitive.

He said that earlier there around 10,000 visited the exhibition and through their regional chambers they were able to bring in more entrepreneurs from the provinces from such far away places like Ampare, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota. There were also visitors from places like Vavuniya, Batticaloa etc. Visitors to the Exhibition include: the Sri Lankan business community from all districts and regions, overseas buyers/sellers, potential entrepreneurs and the general public.

This Exhibition will provide an opportunity for local and foreign machinery manufacturers, research and development institutions and SME business development services providers to exhibit new machinery produced by them; sell machinery/accept firm orders for supply; select and appoint local agents/distributors, negotiate and enter into joint ventures to manufacture machinery in Sri Lanka; display and market processes and methods of production of goods and services; to acquire technical know how in order to redesign existing products, product diversification, quality improvement and cost cutting.

They have also found many repeaters from the earlier exhibitions and some improvements to the exhibition has also been made on the feedback they have received from the visitors to the previous exhibitions.

At the earlier Exhibition, apart from the feed back through networking events, the organizers obtained written feedback from each stallholder as to their satisfaction about the event as a whole. More than85 percent of the stallholders expressed that their participation to obtain market/industry contacts and more than 50 percent of them expressed that the Exhibition was a fine opportunity to gain publicity to their machinery, accessories and other products.

Abewickrama said that the feedback process would be expanded to get the information as how much purchase orders and positive inquiries would be made during the Exhibition and there would be further follow-up to find out as to how much of these purchase orders and inquiries have actually materialized.

He said that they are expecting more than 15,000 visitors at this Exhibition and said that the government was very supportive towards the holding of this exhibition and the government has a clear commitment towards technological improvement, particularly of the small and medium scale enterprise sector.

He said that in order to make the sector more viable and competitive, apart from several ministries coming as partners and sponsors from the beginning FCCISL has received lot of support from such institutions like the Industrial Development Board, Industrial Technology Institute, Sri Lanka Standards Institution, National Engineering Research and Development Centre and several other connected institutions and these are the institutions responsible for technological improvements, improve innovations and commercialization of technologies.

This year Ministry of Science and Technology is also participate and they will have their ‘Vidatha’ programme in a separate pavilion at the Exhibition.

He said that it is very much encouraging that the government is really looking at the requirements for the small and medium entrepreneurs, which has a tremendous potential in the development process of the country. Their development needs have been recognized. The SME policy of the Government has been clearly outlined in the ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya” in the development and promotion of rural micro, small and medium scale enterprise sector and provide all the support services to enable them to be more competitive.

All the facilities for the exhibitors will be provided and there will also be a series of seminars/workshops useful for SME representatives and entrepreneurs will be conducted in all three days on topics more relevant to the SME sector.

- Asian Tribune -

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