Emphasizing the need for a greater focus on strengthening participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in global value chains, in his message to conclave Union MSME Minister Shri Narayan Rane  called for creating an enabling environment for promotion of sustainable enterprises, at an international conclave jointly organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in partnership with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The Conclave ‘Promoting Sustainable Enterprises for Local Development’ brought together government officials and industry representatives from India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Netherland, Republic of Korea, South Africa, and Vietnamto share their policies and practices on the subject. Increasing the participation of MSMEs in global trade and global value chains was also emphasized during India’s G20 presidency this year.

Addressing the participants, the Minister said, “Sustainability must not be confined to rules and regulations but should be part of all business operations of MSMEs for their own survival in future and decent work for all”. Chang Jae-bok, Ambassador for Korea to India added,“We are celebrating the 50 years of our friendship with India. Korea shares India’s vision of ‘Amrit Kaal’ and intends to contribute to the country’s journey in becoming a developed nation. MSMEs are the backbone of India’s economy, and their sustainability will shape its growth. Korea looks forward to deepening cooperation in this area under the ILO-KOICA PSEI initiative”.

The Conclave had more than 80 officials and MSME representatives from participating countries deliberating on strategies to promote sustainable, resilient and responsible MSMEs, given their key role in the global economy. MSMEs account for 60 to 70 per cent of global employment and contribute 50 percent to the global GDP. Government representativesfrom Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa, Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam underscored the need for continued support to the sector and acknowledged that only sustainable and responsible MSMEs are productive and has the potential to drive inclusive and equitable job-rich growth in a country.

“Businesses thrive when society thrives and recognizing this symbiotic relationship is critical. This makes creating the right conditions for a profitable and sustainable enterprises a high priority in development policy and for the Decent Work Agenda as MSMEs can’t become sustainable in a vacuum,”said Michiko Miyamoto, Director, ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia. Speaking at the event, Germany, Japan and Netherland emphasized the importance of human rights and environmental due diligence in the supply chain and highlighted various supplier development initiatives of their companies to bring the MSMEs closer to international standards.

The Conclave was organised against the backdrop of COVID-19 crisis, current geo-political crisis, rising impact of climate change and decent work deficits in global supply chain, all of which exacerbate the vulnerability of the MSME sector.