ECONOMYNEXT – A government policy on green public procurement being drawn up by Sri Lanka will open up opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), an international conference on social enterprise was told.
“The government is one of the biggest buyers,” Gamini Senanayake, an environmental policy expert told the forum on ‘Social Enterprises and SMEs for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction’.
“That will open up a huge market,” said Senanayake who provides advice on sustainable consumption and production patterns with low environmental impact.
The procurement policy was important for SMEs since they lacked the clout of bigger companies.
“The government is now ready with the national policy on green public procurement,” Senanayake told the forum on social enterprises, businesses that use profits to achieve social goals like generating employment and reducing poverty rather than purely for private reward.
It was organized by Lanka Social Ventures in partnership with Oxfam, National Enterprise Development Authority, British Council, Good Market and VEGA BIZ+, Lanka Impact Investors Network and Social Enterprise Lanka.
“With the adoption of the new policy SMEs will have a big opportunity to secure markets in the public sector domain,” said Senanayake.
Even in Sri Lanka, about 20 percent of the budget goes on public procurement by organisations like the armed forces and government hospitals.
“For SMEs, it would be good to enter with food because the food bill is huge,” Senanayake said.
The forum brings together local and international entrepreneurs, policy makers and development practitioners.
(COLOMBO, Jan 24, 2016)