PCJCCI seeks new SME pol­icy in line with world mar­ket

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

SALIM AHMED LA­HORE—Pres­i­dent Pak-China Joint Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (PCJCCI) Shah Faisal Afridi, has urged the govern­ment to in­tro­duce new SME Pol­icy to en­able the busi­ness com­mu­nity of Pak­istan to re­design the en­trepreneur­ship in line with the world mar­ket.

Afridi said on Sun­day that the brands emerge from the do­mes­tic mar­kets, there­fore do­mes­tic mar­kets must be re­designed in a way that they be­come land­mark for lo­cal brands in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, which will help meet the chal­lenges to be faced in the ex­port pro­mo­tion moves. He said that a fresh and pro­gres­sive SME Pol­icy is need of the hour to equip the SME sec­tor with new Tech­nol­ogy, in­no­va­tion and e-ser­vices for de­vel­op­ing brands based trade and in­dus­try in the do­mes­tic mar­ket.

He pointed out that the first ever SME Pol­icy was an­nounced by the govern­ment in 2007, but its im­ple­men­ta­tion has not been made suc­cess­fully. The present govern­ment be­ing a busi­ness ori­ented govern­ment should take lead to de­velop a fresh SME Pol­icy by tak­ing the en­tire stake­hold­ers of SME sec­tor on board through SMEDA. He sug­gested to de­sign the new SME pol­icy fo­cused on ex­port de­vel­op­ment in the changing trends of the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing of SMEs. He main­tained that, this is the time that we should main­tain an open in­ter­na­tional stance to in­te­grate our econ­omy into the global econ­omy, and for this, we must de­velop mar­kets at home more ap­pro­pri­ately termed as Do­mes­tic mar­kets or Do­mes­tic Com­merce. He pointed that, what we im­port and what we ex­port is a prod­uct of these do­mes­tic mar­kets; ef­fi­cient and well-de­vel­oped do­mes­tic mar­kets fuel the econ­omy as well as in­ter­na­tional trade, added Afridi.

Faisal Afridi ex­pli­cated, “If we are able to de­velop these do­mes­tic mar­kets, we will be able to de­velop brand names for high mar­gin ex­ports”. He men­tioned that Pak­istan needs to de­velop new ap­proaches to strength­en­ing do­mes­tic mar­kets. He re­garded econ­omy as a sys­tem that needs to work as a whole, with do­mes­tic and ex­ter­nal trade sup­port­ing each other. “It is in do­mes­tic mar­kets that all man­ner of in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship takes place which later lead to higher ex­ports and for­eign ex­change earn­ings”, told Afridi.

Faisal Afridi in­formed that, Do­mes­tic com­merce pri­mar­ily in­cludes re­tail and whole­sale trades, res­tau­rants and ho­tels, con­struc­tion, trans­port stor­age and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, fi­nan­cial and real estate and per­sonal ser­vices. He said that this sec­tor is where the poor and the mid­dle class are hid­den and it con­tains the largest num­ber of small and medium en­ter­prises. He urged that fix­ing this sec­tor should be the new SME pol­icy if we want an egal­i­tar­ian de­vel­op­ment.

Faisal Afridi men­tioned that ac­cord­ing to the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port, Pak­istan ranks poorly in terms of do­mes­tic com­merce mea­sures: busi­ness so­phis­ti­ca­tion, goods mar­ket ef­fi­ciency as well as prop­erty rights pro­tec­tion. He said that in all three mea­sures, Pak­istan ranks low­est when com­pared to other Asian coun­tries in­clud­ing In­dia, In­done­sia, Thai­land, Malaysia and China.

Faisal Afridi sug­gested that The Pub­lic and Pri­vate sec­tor should fol­low a vi­brant vi­sion of trans­form­ing Pak­istani cities into a dy­namic com­mer­cial hub of the re­gion-a tourist des­ti­na­tion, a shop­ping Cen­tre, re­gional head­quar­ters for Multi­na­tional Cor­po­ra­tion etc. “We in Pak­istan must en­cour­age fresh think­ing and al­low tech­ni­cal peo­ple into govern­ment to make good things hap­pen, Pak­istan has lacked think tanks and univer­si­ties for many years, eco­nomic think­ing and de­bate is se­ri­ously dis­counted of­ten be­ing left to non-pro­fes­sion­als”, elab­o­rated Afridi.

He also re­it­er­ated that we are of­ten too loose with the term ‘pol­icy. He said that the econ­o­mists should study a sit­u­a­tion, be­fore for­mu­lat­ing any pol­icy. Only with the help of in-depth analysis, a bet­ter pol­icy frame­work could be de­vised.

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