UK-funded initiative for SMEs launched

Programme will help enhance Pakistan’s trade diversification, integration into global value chains


Ppi May 07, 2021
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

A UK-funded initiative that will enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan to effectively engage in international markets was launched on Thursday.

According to the UN Information Centre, Islamabad, this UK-funded initiative will help enhance Pakistan’s trade diversification and integration into the global value chains.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) will implement the revenue mobilisation, investment and trade (REMIT) programme. The five-million-pound sterling project will run from 2020 to 2024.

Read: PM stresses need for promoting SMEs

These efforts are part of a larger UK-supported REMIT programme aimed at contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic development in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner said, “Exports of goods and services worth $3.2 billion are at an impressive record high with the UK remaining one of the biggest export markets for Pakistan.”

“The new programme will enable trade reforms and create more opportunities for Pakistani businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, to compete in international markets,” he added. ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton stated, “REMIT will focus on creating conducive environment for small and medium-sized enterprises to engage in trade.”

“It can help diversify the economy and capture additional export opportunities for the country post-Covid,” Hamilton said. Shedding light on the objective of ITC, she said that the centre was committed to strengthening Pakistan’s approach to trade and stimulating international trade competitiveness.

“This will make it easier for Pakistani businesses to trade internationally and support job creation in export-oriented sectors,” she added.

Read more: EU to help SMEs reap benefits of GSP Plus status

Federal Commerce Secretary Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui stated that it was a comprehensive and far-reaching project involving major public and private stakeholders in business and international trade in Pakistan.

“With the project’s intervention areas spanning national priority sectors, export strategy, building institutional capacity for trade policy formulation, addressing trade barriers and targeted trade facilitation-oriented reforms, the project will go a long way towards contributing to increased trade and investment for inclusive and sustainable economic development of Pakistan,” he stressed.

Moreover, through the development of Pakistan’s national priority sectors and export strategy the programme will support formulation and reform of trade policies.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2021.

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