First meeting of the ICSA Advisory Board, 1~2 Sept 2016, London

The first meeting of Advisory Board of India Commonwealth SME Association (ICSA) was held at Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, London from 1~2 Sept 2016.

ICSA was launched in June this year in India by Secretary, Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of India, to enable Indian SMEs to form Global Value Chains with their counterparts in Commonwealth member countries and help expand intra-Commonwealth trade and investment. The Advisory Board comprising of experts from South Asia, Africa and UK was constituted during launch meeting to help ICSA to institutionalize. Mr. Paulo Kautoke, Director, Trade Division, Commonwealth secretariat chaired the inaugural session and Dr. Rashmi Banga Adviser and Head, Trade Competitiveness Section, Commonwealth secretariat steered the meeting.

Mr. Deodat Maharaj, Deputy Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat met the Advisory Board. A team comprising of senior officials from Commonwealth Enterprises and Investment Council also made their presentation before the Board.

The Board discussed in details on the Concept Note prepared by Dr. P. Nayak, on ICSA including the Aims and Objective, Guiding principles, Organization and legal structure, Funding and sustainability, Governing Council and Membership fee among others.

The participants included Dr P Nayak, CEO, SME Net Dev (India); Prof Dr. M. Mwinyihija, CEO COMESA LLPI (Ethiopia); Mr Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General, FISME (India); Mr Manab Majumdar, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI (New Delhi); Mr Louis Accaro, Director, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (Tanzania); Mr Shafquat Haider, Chairman, Council for Communication and IT (Bangladesh); Mr Paulo Kautoke, Director, Trade division – Commonwealth Secretariat (UK); Dr Rashmi Banga, Adviser and Head, Trade Competitiveness Section, Commonwealth secretariat (UK), Mr Sujeevan Perera – Trade Adviser, Trade Competitiveness Section, Commonwealth Secretariat (UK); Ms Rita Broni – Operations Officer, Trade Division, Commonwealth Secretariat (UK).