eLanka | Sri Lanka COSMI leads formation of South Asia-European MSME alliance


2021 JUNE 22


  • COSMI inks major pact with Budapest’s EIVHGI
  • ’Cross border Agreement opens premium European knowledge

    transfer to our MSMEs’-COSMI President Nawaz

  • ‘Tech-Transfer to South Asia a high priority’-Budapest’s EIVHGI


Main image, from left: Chairman of the EIVHGI – International Economic Council Prof. Dr. Norbert W. Knoll von Dornhoff, EIVHGI President Dr. Johann Forstinger and EIVHGI Secretary Oliver Knoll von Dornhoff hold the signed EIVHGI –COSMI Agreement on March 29 in Vienna. Top Right: President of Sri Lanka’s Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) Nawaz Rajabdeen, Bottom Right:  Chairman of the COSMI Governing Council Deshabandu Macky Hashim.

A path breaking pact between Sri Lanka’s Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) and a European entrepreneur group inked in Vienna, Austria has opened the much needed channel of premium European knowledge transfer for the Lankan MSMEs.

“Our Cooperation Agreement with Hungary based European Association for Trade – Crafts – Industries (EIVHGI) aims at supporting the MSMEs in the entire South Asian region from which the Sri Lankan MSMEs too are invited to benefit” said President COSMI Nawaz Rajabdeen on 21 June. “The aim of the path breaking COSMI- EIVHGI Agreement is to promote ‘business partnerships’ between Europe and South Asian countries. As an emerging market, South Asia holds great potentials –after all the region’s economies are driven by their MSMEs,totaling more than 70 million. Partnerships as these therefore are the much needed spur for the region’s MSMEs to step into next levels. This agreement is also an important milestone in post-COVID industrial and skills development for Sri Lankan MSMEs as it also facilitates premium European trade, craft, industry knowledge transfer to them. We at COSMI are very much looking forward to work with EIVHGI especially given the Trade–Crafts–Industry footprint of the Budapest based EIVHGI has” COSMI President Rajabdeen added.

Founded in 1980, EIVHGI (Europäischer Interessenverband Handel-Gewerbe-Industrie) is a powerful Trade – Crafts – Industries entrepreneur group represented within one of the most historical Chambers of Commerce of Europe-the Budapest based Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. EIVHGI has many elected representatives in the Hungarian Chamber and is a significant voice within it. Established in 1850, the Hungarian Chamber itself is one among the 26 full member Chambers of Commerce of the powerful AECCI (Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry). Considered no less than a ‘recognized partner’ for the EU, AECCI has an outreach strength of 26 European Union Chambers from 26 member countries (one of which is the Hungarian Chamber where EIVHGI is represented) and another 1700 regional Chambers. 

The signing of the agreement took place in Vienna, Austria on March 29, 2021 between President of the EIVHGI, Johann Forstinger and the Chairman of the EIVHGI – International Economic Council Prof. Dr. Norbert W. Knoll von Dornhoff and COSMI President Rajabdeen Nawaz Rajabdeen. After signing the Agreement which became effective on April 4, EIVHGI President Johann Forstinger commented: “Especially during the COVID pandemic and its threatening consequences for SMEs worldwide, our SME promoting organizations wish to send a clear signal of how important it is that business organizations cooperate internationally and take actions together to help SMEs to overcome the crisis effectively while supporting the economic development in their own interest and that of their employees. We are looking forward to a sustainable and successful cooperation effort and send you the very best regards from Vienna to Sri Lanka. Keep healthy and well.”

Sri Lanka has around one million registered SMEs while India (63 million), Pakistan (3.3 Million) and Bangladesh (7.4 million) collectively pack around 73.7 million ‘SME population.’

EIVHGI‘s Prof. Dr. Norbert said: “The promotion of business partnerships between South Asian and European SMEs combined with technology transfers in both directions will have high priority. As a next step we are working together to set out a timetable for the activities that should take priority.”

Chairman of the COSMI Governing Council, and Past President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce Deshabandu Macky Hashim conveyed his good wishes: “This Agreement is a milestone in our MSME history. I keenly look forward to a Joint Industrial Development Venture between the two regions which is now feasible thanks this Agreement.”

The Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) was formed in 2019, and aims to revive and foster the MSME and industry sectors of Sri Lanka.

www.cosmi.lk       info@cosmi.lk       0770083388

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