In Sri Lanka, much of the population work for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to reduce poverty & improve the national economy. Therefore, it is important to create a conducive and dynamic business environment in the country. In this context, the local economy has an important function simply since most interaction between government & public occurs at the local level. Based on this, Regional Economic Development (RED) is an attractive alternative to traditional development strategies, the advantage of RED being its ability to tailor-made strategies according to the local setting.
RED is a participatory approach to development. A wide range of local stakeholders are working alongside regional and national governments and international organizations to realize a locality’s economic potential. Through its focus on participation, RED creates incentives and opportunities and partnership between local private and public sector stakeholders. The institutional architecture has been introduced by NEDA namely, Regional Enterprise Forum, District Enterprise Forum and National Enterprise Forum
Forums are 3 types.
- Regional Enterprise Forum (REF)
- District Enterprise Forum (DEF)
- National Enterprise Forum (NEF)
Regional Enterprise Forum
Regional enterprise forum is chaired by the Divisional secretary and represent the key entrepreneurs in business sectors and all divisional level government & privet sector business development service providers as same as district forum.
- Divisional Secretary (Chairman)
- Representative from National Enterprise Development Authority (Secretary)
- Director Planning
- Representative from divisional secretariat
- Representative from Provincial Industrial Service
- Representative from Small Enterprise Development Division
- Member from Industrial Development Board
- Officers from National Enterprise Development Authority
- Bank officers from government & private banks
- Officer from Consumer Affairs Authority
- Business Registration Officer from Divisional Secretariat
- Business Development Service providers from government, non-government (NGOs) & private sector
- Media representatives
District Enterprise Forum
To create public-private dialogue for Regional Economic Development, District Enterprise Forums, which bring together representatives of National and Provincial government authorities, private sector, NGOs and Government service providers are established in each district. These are dialogue forums for MSME development, addressing issues especially with regard to the policy and regulatory environment at District level. It is chaired by the District secretary.
The objective of the District Enterprise Forum is broadly to contribute to regional economic development through MSME development. Accordingly, the role of the District Enterprise Forum is to be a facilitator and function as a forum for dialogue to achieve this objective.
The role of the District Enterprise Forum
- To keeping a consultations and dialogue among the members to promote the MSMEs in the District.
- Facilitate networking among all District stakeholders relevant to MSME development.
- Address issues in the MSME sector and contribute to devising solutions.
- Facilitate advocacy and lobbying in order to bring MSME related issues to the national level.
- Suggest, promote and in some cases coordinate activities relevant to MSME development in the District, for example assessments of the business environment, trade fairs, exhibitions, business links, mobile services, conferences, workshops and seminars.
- Contribute to District Development Plans of the national and local government institutions.
- Promote optimal utilization of regional resources, for example natural resources, land and labor.
- Facilitate investment and export promotion through the Chamber of Commerce.
- Be a link between the District’s needs and development programs sponsored by government and donors.
- District Secretary
- District/Provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- District Chamber of Commerce
- MSME Associations
- The Director Planning
- Provincial Director of small industries
- Government providers of business development services
- NGOs (one providing business development services)
- Commercial banks
- Micro-finance institutes
- Provincial Commissioner of Local Government
- One media representative/regional journalist
National Enterprise Forum
National enterprise forum represents the all national level stockholders and chaired by the Hon. Minister / Secretary. These are dialogue forums for MSME development, addressing issues especially with regard to service markets and the policy and regulatory environment.
- Hon. Minister / Secretary
- Government institutions
- Media representatives
National forum held at BMICH last year with the presence of Hon. Wimal Weerawansha, Minister of Industry