Small, medium units urged to work closely with SEZsĀ 

To tap the potential that exists in the domestic and export markets, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country need to work more closely with special economic zones (SEZs), to gain from the facilities extended by the latter.While SEZs have been expanding due to regulatory and industry support, they have not reached their full potential.

Low-key

Moreover, despite its rather large size, the SME market continues to remain low-key in terms of revenues and global reach, said Dr Krishna Tanuku, Executive Director, Wadhwani Centre of Entrepreneurship Development (WCED), at the Indian School of Business (ISB), here.ISB is hosting a symposium focusing on ‘Building SME Linkages in SEZs' on January 27-28 at its Hyderabad campus.This symposium is being organised in association with the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd.

Stronger linkages

It aims to enhance the effectiveness of SEZs by establishing stronger linkages with SMEs and entrepreneurs. It will bring together, policy and decision makers from both the Centre and various states, public and private SEZ developers, industry, civil society and academia in order to identify bottlenecks and propose solutions.

SMEs have played a vital role for the growth of Indian economy by contributing 45 per cent of industrial output, 40 per cent of exports, employing 60 million people and producing more than 8,000 quality products for the Indian and international markets. The SME contribution towards GDP in 2009 was 17 per cent, which is expected to increase to 22 per cent by 2012, he said in a press release. Today, there are 26.1 million MSME units in the country and 12 million people are expected to join the workforce in the next three years.