The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) recently jointly organized a workshop in Colombo for presidents and senior officials of the regional chamber network aimed at drawing up of a roadmap to enhance the efficacy and advocacy skills of the District Enterprise Forums (DEF).
Senior Officials from the NEDA and FCCISL together with presidents of regional chambers of Matara, Galle, Nuwara Elliya, Kalutara, Sabaragamuwa, Killinochchi, Jaffna and Mullaitivu participated in the first workshop, according to a FCCISL statement.
The FCCISL intends to cover all the 29 regional chambers on the conclusion of the program.
The umbrella chamber in collaboration with the Enter-Growth project of the International Labour Organization (ILO) had taken the initiative to establish DEFs at District level under the leadership of the District Secretary/Government Agent in order to facilitate and promote the development of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) for regional development. The DEF consisted of the representatives of the District chambers, senior government officials, regional financial institutions and district level entrepreneurship and business development organizations. The objective of the DEF is to engage in a productive dialogue to address the problems encountered by the MSME sector at the regional level to find solutions and also to seek redress on problems to be solved at the national policy level.
During the workshop it was revealed that the insufficient awareness of the existence and operation of the DEF among the MSMEs, inadequate representation of officials at senior levels with decision-making powers, non representation of credit agencies and commercial banks in the DEF meetings, a gap in communication between regional policy institutions and managers and the national level policy making institutions and insufficient resource of the regional chamber network were hindering the optimal utilization of the current DEF.