Helping The Indian MSME To Go Global With International Cooperation Scheme

Learn about this government scheme and take benefits for your small business if you are eligible for the International Cooperation Scheme.


The International Cooperation Scheme is a demand-driven programme through which the Government of India provides compensatory financial assistance to small businesses. It assists eligible Central or State government organisations, registered industry associations, companies, and trusts to support and strengthen the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

The SME division of the Ministry of MSME is primarily responsible for the overall administrative oversight and implementation of the International Cooperation Scheme and assistance to training institutions.

Who have received how many benefits yet?

In 2020-21, the government reimbursed Rs.1.67 crore to 80 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the Indian coir sector (an agro-based rural industry) to participate in international activities abroad as part of the International Cooperation Scheme.

Under the plan, Rs.3.59 crore were released in 2018-2019 to promote 454 small, medium and micro-enterprises. During 2017-18, the government released financial aid of Rs.4.08 crore for enabling 723 MSMEs.

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The International Cooperation Scheme aims to realise the goal of ‘Vocal for Local’ and help Indian small businesses to have a robust impact on the formal economy.

Objective of the International Cooperation Scheme

While several government programmes are already in place to support Indian SMEs and MSMEs, which are also hard nailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Cooperation Scheme aims to achieve more specific objectives. 

They are:

Technology injection and update of Indian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

Promotion of the export arm of MSMEs

Modernisation of MSMEs

The plan includes the following activities:

Delegating MSMEs to international trade fairs/exhibitions in other countries to explore new areas of technology upgradation, facilitate joint ventures, enhance MSME’s product markets, and cooperate with foreign countries.

Attending and participating in international exhibitions, fairs and meetings of overseas buyers and sellers for Indian SMEs and micro-enterprises.

Participation of Indian MSMEs in International conferences/ trade exhibitions held in India has international participation.

Holding global Conferences and Seminars on topics and themes of importance to the Indian MSMEs.

Organising International Conferences/ Seminars/ Workshops in India by the Ministry of MSME or its subordinate organisations.

Providing financial assistance for airfare and space rent on a reimbursement basis.

Who can apply

Registered public bodies and industry associations involved in promoting and developing the MSME sector can apply for the International Cooperation Scheme.

The qualification conditions for monetary assistance under the program are as follows:

The claimant must be a registered organisation (e.g., companies under the Companies Act, societies under the Societies Act, etc.) whose primary purpose is to promote and develop MSMEs.

The organisation must have been involved in such activities for at least three years and have a good track record.

The organisation should have periodically reviewed the accounts for the last three years.

The activities of a business to be funded under the programme should have a robust international significance.

How to apply: Procedure for accessing financial assistance under the programme

Applicants may request financial assistance in the form prescribed by the Ministry (available at www.msme.gov.in) to the Director (International Cooperation), Ministry of MSME, Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi-110011. An estimated budget for programme proposals and other relevant documents are required for the application.

Aakash Sharma
Aakash Sharma
Aakash writes on Startup Ecosystem, Policies, Legal and Regulatory aspects of business planning. An alumnus of Delhi University, he is assistant editor at Dutch Uncles.

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