International Council of Small and Medium Enterprises offer assistance to Pakistan SME sector

London: The International Council of Small and Medium Enterprises (ICSMEs) in a meeting with the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) at its London office assured them that fast track SME promotion and development in Pakistan is achievable and targeted efforts must be made at different levels.

The ICSMEs officials were confident because of the high potentiality of the sector in Pakistan due to its predominant agricultural base yielding cotton, rice, wheat, maize, pulses, fruits, vegetables and the related agriculture-based industries adding value to the yields. The ICSMEs pointed out that the SME sector should focus on exports of value added goods and develop markets for exports by improving packing, shelf life and branding of their products by higher bench marks.

The ICSMEs offered help to Zulfikar Thaver president UNISAME and recommended him to seek technological help to fill the technological gap as SMEs in Pakistan need to modernize their units and adopt new systems for improving their productivity scientifically. The ICSMEs regretted that the SMEs in Pakistan who are dynamic are not given a healthy environment and SME friendly policies whereby they could progress rapidly.

The ICSMEs advised the Pakistani policy makers and economic managers to attend to the needs of the SMEs by giving them access to finance through banking, leasing and insurance and lease them land at concession, lessen their burden by reliefs, incentives and exemptions of duties on plants and machineries and reducing duties on import of raw and packing materials. The ICSMEs urged the government to encourage investors to set up import substitution industries in rural areas to promote employment and also save valuable foreign exchange.

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