The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

UNIDO joins up with regional chambers to promote home-grown entrepreneurs


The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) focal point in Sri Lanka together with the Ministry of Industry & Commerce will extend technical support in setting up micro and small industries particularly in the war affected region in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

The primary aim is to create a new generation of home-grown entrepreneurs from the region, instead of outsiders setting up projects there.UNIDO has successfully implemented food security and post-harvest programme with the Batticaloa and Trincomale Chambers of Commerce with the support of the Japanese Government. This was a model project addressing the needs of the farmer society supplying tractors and equipments to improve the quality and the productivity of the agro products, according to a UNIDO Sri Lanka media release. This project has provided employment to a large number of youth in the service sector; UNIDO also teamed up with the women society in providing small machinery in few villages to generate income for the families. “We hope to extend this project in the Northern region partnering with Regional chambers,” said Nawaz Rajabdeen, National Director of UNIDO Focal Point in Sri Lanka.

“This new initiative will support both existing and newly formed Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to upgrade their technical capacities and management know how, making such enterprises competitive by linking up with the markets in the rest of the country and where necessary with the export markets as well,” he added. Under this programme, the regional chambers can get involved in identifying the industrial requirements of their respective areas and the availability of indigenous raw material and facilitating the MSME sector, and create an industrial revolution in the post conflict development in the north and the east and other war affected districts in the country. Special attention will be paid to ex-combatants, war affected youth and widows in supporting their livelihood activities through self employments and other forms of entrepreneurial activities, the statement said.

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