As per the United Nations, the global population is expected to grow to more than 9 billion by 2050. There has been an exponential increase in the demand for goods and services in recent past, the supply of natural resources and the necessary raw materials to meet this growing demand remains the challenge as the resources are being consumed faster than they can be naturally regenerated. Thus it becomes imperative to address this challenge faced by the planet earth.
United Nations, with a vision to provide the practical solution to the global sustainability challenge, formulated and declared the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, with the participation of more than 190 countries.
As we all will agree that SMEs form the backbone of national economies. SMEs account for about 90% of all businesses. According to the World Bank, SMEs contribute significantly to the GDP of the nation and play a crucial role in creating employment opportunities in the region. Formal SMEs contribute up to 45% of total employment and up to 33% of GDP in emerging economies.
SMEs can play a crucial role in building a sustainable future through responsible business practices. At present, SMEs are considered to have a relatively small environmental and social impact, whereas, in the long run, they can impact critical issues such as climate change, gender parity, human rights, labour relations, business practices and global market trends.
The SDGs aims to provide a practical approach for developing global policy frameworks that have both macro and micro implications. The 17 agendas of SDGs launched, will be adopted by participating countries and will be made national priority while reforming policies and regulations, incentives and compliances for businesses, especially the SME sector. The national agenda will then be integrated into the business policies at the enterprise level, which will ensure practical footholds that help companies improve their performance and drive local businesses to take action.
In the above backdrop, and common understanding by world leaders that inclusive and sustainable industrialization and SME development shall be the primary development agenda by the national governments so as to address the critical issues around economic growth, job creation, social stability, and environmental protection.
21st ICSME 2017 themed around “Achieving inclusive and sustainable industrialization by promoting SMEs” aims to promote SME development initiatives and integrating it with the 2030 agenda of achieving Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) set by the United Nations. The conference endeavors to catalyze required international cooperation for making focused efforts to increase the access of financial services, trade opportunities, green technology adoption and integration of SMEs into Global Value Chain and thus empower them to contribute effectively to the country’s socio economic development.
ICSME 2017 will feature informative plenaries and parallel sessions, in-depth discussions on crucial topics pertaining to strengthening SMEs’ contribution to Sustainable Development of the country. Also, there will be concurrent exhibitions running alongside the conference.