Karachi: The Union of Small and medium Enterprises (UNISAME) with the help and support of the International Council of Small and Medium Enterprises (ICSMEs) is going to set up a Value Addition Bureau (VAB) in Karachi for dedicated and focused value addition training for SMEs.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said Pakistan needs to triple its exports to finance its huge imports bill and the best way is to vigorously involve the SME sector in value addition of all crops, minerals and all resources.
Thaver said UNISAME with the help and support of ICSMEs plans to first prepare a list of all the items and commodities wherever value addition is possible from agri produce items to minerals and secondly prepare feasibility of their value addition for the benefit of the SME sector.
ICSMEs promised to provide technology to fill the technological gap, search for collaboration and joint ventures to promote value addition.
UNISAME experts have pointed out that value addition is possible in cotton, rice, wheat, maize, sugar cane, spices, in minerals and engineering goods. Pakistani SMEs are in a position to develop value addition in food items including meat, fish and poultry. The precooked and halal food industry offers many opportunities if proper training is provided in preservation and canning.
UNISAME is also in favour of importing many items and exporting them after adding value to them such as wheat and exporting wheat flour made from imported wheat likewise the SMEs can import raw materials and make finished goods with domestic or imported technology and export finished goods.
The VAB is planning to take the representatives of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), the Engineering Development Board (EDB), the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) and the Renewal Alternate Energy Authority in its board of governors to strengthen its support line.
Many other organizations and donor institutions have expressed their willingness and support for the VAB and UNISAME has urged the government to promote and support the VAB to achieve its aim and objectives in its value addition programme.