SMEDA to lead SME Development Agenda of the Government
Lahore, May 02, 2019 (PPI-OT): The National Steering Committee on SME Policy reviewed a draft developed by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) for the new “SME Policy 2019” at a meeting with Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment in chair. Senator Nauman Wazir, Mr. Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, Federal Secretary Industries and Production, Mr. Farrukh H. Sabzwari Chairman SECP, Mr. Samar Hassnain Executive Director State Bank of Pakistan, Ms. Nadia J. Seth, General Manager, Policy and Planning, SMEDA and representatives of Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Chambers of Commerce and Industry and business community attended the meeting.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood highlighted the role of SMEs in accelerating economic growth through employment generation and new enterprise creation. In Pakistan, around 99% of economic establishments are SMEs and public sector support can catalyze their growth and development. He highlighted issues faced by the SME sector in Pakistan and termed SMEDA, a quite competent organization to lead SME development agenda of the Government.
He appreciated SMEDA to formulate the draft SME Policy in line with government’s economic priorities for creating employments and exports. He acknowledged that the new policy draft had been developed to address key areas for sustainable SME growth, coupled with targeted policy implementation framework, through a strengthened SMEDA to uplift the growth trajectory of the SME sector and subsequently boost Pakistan’s economic growth. He further highlighted that the recently negotiated FTA with China is an opportunity for SMEs to access the Chinese market.
During the meeting, Mr. Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, Federal Secretary Industries and Production also underscored that Pakistan’s SMEs require public support to become competitive in national and international markets. Only then, can they fulfill the multiple agenda of generating employment, scaling up, increasing exports and enhancing their contribution to GDP. Thus, development of National SME Policy 2019 is an important step towards creation of a conducive business environment for SMEs in the country.
Earlier, Ms. Nadia J. Seth, while presenting the key recommendations of National SME Policy 2019, said that promotion of local small and medium-sized businesses is the most effective and sustainable solution for inclusive growth. While presenting the principles of the National SME Policy 2019, Ms. Seth apprised the members of the Steering Committee that the Policy focuses on; addressing market failures that impact small firms disproportionally, improving the business environment, addressing capability and capacity gaps within the public sector, encouraging formalization of businesses, provision of basic infrastructure and gender inclusion.
During the meeting, Mr. Sheharyar Tahir, head External Relations SMEDA informed that technical assistance for the National SME Policy Development had been provided by USAID funded Small and Medium Enterprise Activity (SMEA) project. Chief of Party SMEA, Mr. Farrukh Mehboob Khan and Senior Policy Advisor Mr. Suleman Ghani shared the activities of the project to support SME development in the country.
Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR) team briefed the participants about the SME Policy Development process. While appreciating the work carried out, members of the Steering Committee deliberated upon the recommendations and gave their input for further refinement of the National SME Policy-2019.
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