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IMF program, economic stability vital for SME sector to regain credit worthiness- Chen Chen

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Sri Lanka was able to bring in the IMF program and take a lot of measures to ensure economic stability to start economic recovery which is a very good effort to help the SME sector regain credit worthiness both in the country and global value chain and a good starting point. But after that the country also needs to rebuild its policy frame work, trade, investment business climate asserted Chen Chen, ADB Country Director to Sri Lanka.

“We have been a long-time partner of the SME sector and the first assistance we provided to SME was in 2016 since then ADB has provided a series of assistance.

The SME sector at this moment is at a very challenging moment as the whole country is navigating the economic crisis the SME sector will suffer

The SME sector is at the center of our hearth and the sector can play a very strategic and critical role to solve this economic crisis and support the country in the recovery course.”

He said the SME sector comprise more than 75% workforce accounting to more than 52% of the GDP, 45% of employment and 30% of exports.

TheSME sector even have a bigger potential to really connect to the economic value chain and do a much better job and their approachwas to rebuild the whole eco system for theSME sector.

Chen said the SME sector of Sri Lanka need to regain its credit worthiness.

“This is the task we need to look at including the Government, ADB and many other partners to ensure that we can deploy a very solid and very encouraging business policy frame work for better development of the SME sector.There are several issues surrounding the SME sector we need to focus on.

First is how the SME model can be upgraded to ensure how we can have a competitive SME sector in the country as well as the region probably even globally because the game is not only in Sri Lanka.

The SME sector need to play a role in the overall economic recovery and for that needs to demonstrate good competitiveness in the region,” he said. Chen said the skill gap needed to be closedand the country needed to provide good human capital to support the future SME development and also the required technology such as it financial auditing artificial intelligence will bring new business opportunities for the SME sector and the SME sector need to be ensured that it has theright talent and human capital to capture these opportunities.

The country must also bring in more women to the sector.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 – 01:00

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