State industries and mining minister Subhash Desai sought support from Thailand for collaborations in sectors like food processing, textiles, dairy and information technology.
At meeting with a delegation from Thailand, the minister said Thailand and Maharashtra can work together to uplift the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“SMEs in Thailand and Maharashtra can explore joint collaborations in various sectors,” he added.
Desai said the state produces millions of tonnes of milk but processing facility in dairy sector is inadequate.
“Similarly, the state has diverse climatic conditions and farmers are cultivating high quality food crops supported by substantial research and development. We look for Thailand’s partnership in secondary treatment of these food crops, which include preservation, processing, packaging and export,” he said.
Seeking Thailand’s support for value addition in the textiles sector, he said, “Maharashtra has set up a dedicated textile park and nine more are in the process of being developed. We hope to see majority of garments in the world market to be labelled as ‘Made in India’ products.” Desai informed the delegation that the state accounts for 15 per cent of the country’s GDP, more than 40 per cent of exports and attracted 50 per cent of the country’s foreign direct investment (last year).
“Maharashtra has special policy for SMEs and the government supports SMEs in land allotment, licensing, reservation and procurement so that they do not have to compete with large enterprises,” he added.
Speaking at the same event, Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion of Thailand deputy director general Wimonkarn Kosumas said, “There is tremendous potential to enhance partnership between Thailand and Maharashtra. We have set up a dedicated desk to promote SME collaboration with Italy and Japan. We can set up similar dedicated desk for Maharashtra as well.”
Kosumas also outlined a four-point programme to strengthen bilateral ties, which includes setting up a dedicated Maharashtra desk in the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) in Thailand.