Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said nations of the world will have to “strengthen” their capabilities and “explore new ways” to solve development challenges.

Speaking at the inauguration of 21st International Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises (ICSME), Naidu said it was a “great platform” to discuss, exchange and deliberate key initiatives taken for SME development.

“Countries will have to strengthen their capabilities and explore new ways to solve development challenges, by involving various actors, processes and types of governance, source of finance and encouraging collaboration and cooperation across stakeholders, sectors and regions,” Naidu said.

Naidu said in sustaining the planet and ensuring a greener future for posterity, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) can play a crucial role by adopting practices that will not impact environment.

Small and Medium Enterprises contribute up to 45 per cent of India’s GDP and they employ nearly 46 crore people, which is second largest workforce in country after agricultural sector, Naidu said.

The SME is growing at 11.5 per cent annually, he added.