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Unido proposes strategy to aid SME clusters

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation proposes a five year country strategy for India with a focus on development of clusters for SMEs, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

business Updated: Aug 05, 2007 21:30 IST
Gaurav Choudhury

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) has proposed a five year country strategy for India (2007-2012) with a focus on development of clusters for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) accompanied by cooperation among developing countries.

Unido's South Asia head Philippe Scholtes told Hindustan Times that the UN was currently preparing a medium term roadmap titled 'Integrated Programme of Cooperation between India and Unido.'

"In consultation with the Indian government we have identified five focus areas for our future programmes in the country. These include: development of SMEs, rural industrial development and women entrepreneurship, industrial information and technology promotion, environment and energy and innovation for international competitiveness," Scholtes said.

He said technical assistance and support is required on a priority basis for many of the small and medium enterprises to achieve the goal of cutting down industrial pollution while remaining successful in business in both domestic and international markets.

"Cluster development would be an integral component of Unido’s India country strategy. This will be supplemented by programmes aimed to upgrade technological capability and build social capital," Scholtes said.

The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council’s (NMCC) has identified cluster development of SMEs as one of the key elements in its National Strategy for Manufacturing.

Unido has recently set up its first Centre for South-South Industrial Cooperation (UCSSIC) in New Delhi. "In the last 25 years the share of the South in world manufacturing and world exports has doubled, and South-South trade is rapidly increasing," Scholtes said.

"If the rise of some countries in the South is to be harnessed for the mutual benefit of all, it calls for a qualitative enhancement of South-South cooperation," he said.

Benchmarking will be encouraged between the more developed economies of the South - India, China, South Africa and Brazil - so that through increased productivity their pace of development could be maintained and strengthened, enabling them to become engines of growth in their respective regions, Scholtes said.