Aadhayam 2017 Trade FairJul 5, 2017
Promoting Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth for Sri Lankan SMEs
Aadhayam 2017, a national trade fair, will take place on the 14, 15 and 16 July 2017 at the at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH- Nuga Sewana), in Colombo from 10 am to 7 pm. There will be close to 120 stalls housing 200 beneficiaries from 10 Districts; as well additional stalls for UN agencies to showcase their work, particularly in promoting the localizing of the Sustainable Development Goals in Sri Lanka.
It will provide an important opportunity to showcase to the collaboration UNDP has fostered between government stakeholders, international development agencies and private companies for the upliftment of the lives of vulnerable people, ensuring that no one is left behind in the drive for peace and prosperity.
UNDP Sri Lanka, under the Governance for Local Economic Development Programme, has supported vulnerable individuals, groups and organizations to participate in local level socio-economic development initiatives. Particularly the package of support extended to micro, small and medium level industries in lagging regions, has been a cornerstone UNDP’s initiatives to promote inclusive growth and sustainable development in Sri Lanka.
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), form a large part of the economy in Sri Lanka and can be found in all sectors and have been essential for fostering innovation, employment, skill development and local enterprise. While this sector has immense potential to contribute to and advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, it is also beset with a series of challenges, such as low participation of women, lack of capacity and knowledge development and unavailability of new local markets to expand business. Therefore, in order to showcase and promote the local industries, particularly those run by women and youth, UNDP Sri Lanka, has embarked to host a three-day trade fair titled 'Aadhayam 2017' in Colombo, which will bring together more than 200 entrepreneurs, producer groups and organizations across 10 districts in Sri Lankan, namely, Ampara, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kilinochchi,, Mannar, Monaragala Mullaitivu, Puttalam and Vavuniya.
These producers have been supported with productive inputs, infrastructure, technical training, new technology and access to new markets and services under the projects supported by development partners, including the European Union, Canada and Norway. Furthermore, UNDP has partnered with government counterparts at local and national level such as the National Design Centre (NDC), Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) and Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) and many others. This trade fair is expected to expand the available resources and markets for these Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and encourage the international exports of Sri Lankan products. The trade fair will give them the necessary exposure and opportunity to form linkages with large scale businesses, suppliers and retailers, ensuring their long-term business sustainability.
Aadhayam 2017 strives to connect local entrepreneurs with each other, promote Sri Lankan products and industries and expand market access for buyers and sellers alike. The trade fair will provide the perfect platform to form new business collaborations and strengthen existing market linkages for producers from the various districts of the country, ensuring the promotion of national and international trade.