SME Sector will be Employment Generator: A C Moideen

Kochi: The Small and Micro Enterprise (SME) sector is a robust platform to employ the skills of expatriate Malayalis returning to the State due to the recent nationalisation drives in the countries where they work, said A C Moideen, Kerala Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs, in his inaugural address at the sixth edition of Kerala business-to-business meet, Vyapar 2017, here the other day.

Organised by the Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Kerala, the three-day SME meet, which is showcasing 200 sellers, started at Bolgatty Palace.

“This is a sector that has always been a reflection of the distinctiveness of Kerala, and this generation and future generations can find employment in the State through SMEs,” Moideen said. “Vyapar 2017 shall bring innovative and creative interventions and find sustainable models of development, apart from reaching out with the State’s products to national and international buyers.”

S Sarma MLA, in his presidential address, noted that there is a business-friendly environment for the SMEs and Vyapar 2017 is a far-sighted programme to get businesses and buyers involved in the sector.

Apart from delegates from 46 countries, there are special delegations from Japan and Sri Lanka at the high-profile business meet that showcases the State’s robustness in the SME sector.

“The presence of the special delegates is a proof that the State’s SME business-to-business meet is gaining importance internationally and has the potential to attract more international interest in future,” said Prof K V Thomas MP, speaking on the occasion.

Paul Antony IAS, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) said the B2B meetings would be followed up with an e-platform, a permanent marketing portal for interactions between buyers and sellers, which would also help consolidate the gains of such B2B meetings.

“We want to follow the model of the Tourism Department, which has successfully tapped into digital and social media marketing,” he said,

P M Francis IAS, Director (Industries & Commerce) reiterated that the aim of Vyapar 2017 is to increase business volume, strengthen the economy of the State and explore the potential abroad. “Around 7,500 business meetings are expected to take place over the three days of the event,” he said.

“Vyapar 2017 is not only a forum for multilateral cooperation, but also for exchange of technologies in the SME sector that is fuelling Kerala’s impressive growth,” said Dr. M Beena, MD, KSIDC.

V Rajagopal, CEO, K-BIP noted that while the first edition of the B2B meet struggled to get buyers, the SME meet is now a sought-after event in the Kerala industrial scenario and Vyapar 2017 has received an enthusiastic response from national and international buyers.

On the occasion, the Industries Minister gave away the best seller award to Rapol Saniplast, Chalakkudy, which had participated in the previous edition of the B2B.

Deepak L Aswani, Co-Chairman, FICCI and Damodar Avanoor, State