India plans Saarc meet for startups, says Nirmala Sitharaman
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New Delhi: India is planning to organise a meet of startups of the South Asian region for exchange of new ideas and promoting interaction among them. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also sought views of Indian startups to hold this programme.
“I will be working towards having a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) country meet for startups. There are so many complementarities among us in the South Asian region,” she said while launching a startup India hub portal here.
She said the event can act as a platform for exchanging which can be mutually beneficial and can be worked out. She asked startups to give ideas about the people who can be invited for the meet.
If the ministry would get feedback and suggestions in the next couple of months, by December the meet can happen in which SAARC country startups can come to India and share ideas. SAARC members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Further, to promote the startup ecosystem in the country, Sitharaman would write to all the Member of Parliaments (MPs) to help budding entrepreneurs.
Citing an example, the minister said she used her Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund to create a co-working space for startups in Mangalore.
“I will write to all the MPs...(particularly) in districts where people are approaching their MPs saying can we have some space and where there is a demand of startups,” he added.
The ministry is also planning to work in certain districts identify schools and help them qualify to get tinkering labs under the Atal Innovation Mission.
She added that the ministry is working on modalities to facilitate exchange of ideas between startups of India and Germany.