The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) recently facilitated the inclusion of its members at a Trade Symposium aimed at linking SMEs into India’s Global Value chains. The conference held in New Delhi, India (28th – 30th June) was organized by the Commonwealth secretariat in partnership with TPSF, GBSAFRICA, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry ( FICCI), Federation of Indian Small and Medium Enterprises(FISME), Confederation of Indian Industries(CII), Center for WTO Studies. The Conference brought SMEs from Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and other Common wealth countries under one roof. The Tanzanian SMEs includes companies from the following sectors; Articles of Apparel: leather & sisal, clothing and weaving, foot garments, health sector, machinery and hand tools, dyes, and Automotive & Spares.
TPSF managed to established strategic partnerships with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the other Partners. Such partnerships will pave way for more future opportunities for Tanzanian SMEs and the private sector as a whole. Moreover, the forum brought all stakeholders a step closer to realizing means, which will fast track participation of LDC’s into the India Global value Chain as well as spearhead effective participation of the Local SME’s in such value chains.
Among the key issues voiced during the conference were hurdles faced by SMEs not only in LDCs, but across the world. These challenges include credit availability, technology, skill development and market development as predominant factors hampering success of SMEs. In addition to all these, concerns were raised on credit ratings micro enterprises are subjected to when accessing credit facilities from financial institutions.
The conference also witnessed the launch of The India Commonwealth SME Association. The association is a joint initiative of industry body FISME and the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, tasked with providing a sustainable platform and enable SMEs in the Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) and the region become the source of inputs for their lead products. Speaking at launch, The Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Mr.Arvind Mehta, was convinced that giving zero duty market access to the LDCs was the scope for India to form a value chain with LDCs. “This is the way forward to encourage LDCs to play an active role in India’s Global Value Chains” he said. Speaking at the launch as well Dr. Rashmi Banga , Head of Trade & Competitiveness, Commonwealth Secretariat, London together with the Secretariat of India identified 35 lead products targeted by India, “Focus on export of these 35 products and you can increase your exports by 125 per cent”, she said. Following the launch of India Commonwealth Association Tanzania was also encouraged to establish a Tanzania SME Association of its own.
High points from the conference included establishment of partnerships during Industrial visits between Tanzanian MSMEs and their counterparts in India. Another achievement was the Commonwealth agreeing to promote and Market Tanzanian products, as well as conducting a national study of all products with the sole purpose of linking them to various Global Value Chains.
Find Out How to become a member visit www.tpsftz.org