ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is working to boost its industrial and commercial potential through the introduction of business reforms, said Adviser to PM on Commerce and Textile, Industries and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood.
The government is focusing on higher exports through tariff rationalisation, attracting trade-related investment, undertaking institutional reforms and documentation of economy and easing of business regulations, he said in a meeting with a delegation from the business community.
“SME Policy 2019 focuses on three most important aspects in the development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan which are; access to credit, access to technology and access to markets,” he added.
Dawood said that growth in the SME sector is essential as it generates employment in the country, adding that meaningful structural reforms were being undertaken in Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda). He said that the government was aware that most SME business is conducted off books.
“In order to streamline the sector, documentation of these businesses will provide many benefits including the increment in access to credit.”
He noted that the cost of doing business is also a key factor in determining the performance of SMEs in Pakistan.
According to the World Bank report, Pakistan has advanced 11 places to 136th place on the ease of doing business global ranking. This year the ranking is set to improve further, Dawood remarked. He also said that the reforms of the past year covered the doing business areas of starting a business, registering property and resolving insolvency.
He added that the Commerce Division has worked hard to gain international market access for Pakistani products.
“The Indonesia-Pakistan preferential trade agreement (PTA) offers immediate market access for 20 new products of Pakistan’s prime interest including mangoes, broken rice, ethanol, tobacco, yarn and fabric, home textile, terry towel, apparel, and knitwear, said Dawood, adding that it was a great opportunity for the local industry to benefit from this.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2019.
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