Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on Monday, was offered 20 stalls free of cost at Chinese SME Fair scheduled for October 2014 in Guangzhou, Guangdong.
The offer was made by He Zuoxian, Deputy Director General, Guangdong SME Bureau, who was heading a 5-member Chinese delegation while talking to the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari.
LCCI Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javed, Talha Tayyab Butt, Mohammad Aslam Chaudhry and Mian Mohammad Afzal also spoke on the occasion.
Mr. Zuoxian said that all the Pakistani businessmen who would take part in SME Fair would be facilitated and B-2-B meetings would be arranged.
He said that the SME sector could ensure an economic turnaround provided it is facilitated keeping in view its requirements. He said that they also had meetings with SMEDA so that a working plan could be evolved in collaboration with Pakistani SME sector.
He said that the Chinese SME policy is due next month and it would be shared with Chambers of Commerce in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari agreed to take part in the Chinese SME Fair and thanked the visiting delegation for their 20-free of cost stalls offer.
He said that Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand etc. who excelled on the basis of having well performing SME sector. Now China has become the best example of emerging as an economic power largely relying on SME sector.
He sought the Chinese systematic approach and those policies which played major role in transforming the SME sector.
He said that there was no second opinion that SMEs provide low cost employment opportunities and help the economies in several ways as they boost exports, reduce poverty, create jobs and enhance rural development etc.
He said that approximately more than 3.2 million SMEs are functioning in Pakistan. SME sector contributes almost 30% in GDP, employs more than 70% of the non-agricultural workforce and generates around 25% in export earnings.
The LCCI President said that due to severe energy crisis, SMEs in Pakistan are not keeping pace with critical minimum requirement needed to remain viable and survive.
He said that other challenges include low access to finance, inflationary pressures, little know-how of best business practices, inadequate technologies, shortage of skilled labours etc.
Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the biggest hurdle in their way of business growth is shortage of collateral to avail loaning facilities from banks.
The LCCI President said that it is high time that there must be some study tours arranged for the sake of knowledge sharing and closely examining the SME models of both the countries to bring some improvement in the existing setup of SME in Pakistan.
He said that because of its strategic location, Pakistan offers tremendous opportunities for foreign investment.
He said that ample opportunities of foreign investment are available in energy sector which is the top priority of the government keeping in view the revival of the economy.
He said that grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the EU had created new opportunities for local and foreign investors therefore it is high time for Chinese investors to set up joint ventures and make direct investment in areas of interest.
The LCCI President also informed the Chinese delegation that LCCI had established a Mediation Centre at its premises with active collaboration of International Finance Corporation (IFC).
There are more than 40 accredited mediators who can help the local, national and international businessmen for out-of-the-court settlement of business disputes.
The post LCCI offered 20 free of cost stalls at Chinese SME Fair appeared first on Pakistan Press International.