Ex-minister for raising savings, investment

Insists Pakistan should follow Chinese SME development model

Our Correspondent March 03, 2023


Former finance minister Dr Shahid Javed Burki has underscored the need for enhancing the ratio of domestic savings, tax payment and investment among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for sustainable development in the country.

Speaking at a seminar titled “SME sector opportunities and challenges in Pakistan”, jointly organised by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) and the Burki Institute of Public Policy on Thursday, the ex-finance minister suggested that Pakistan should follow the Chinese methodology of economic development.

“I found China a far less developed country than Pakistan during my first visit to the country in 1965, but now it has become the world’s second largest economy,” remarked Burki.

He elaborated that China made such a quantum leap by structuring its SMEs, manpower and technology according to global market needs. “Rich opportunities available for SME development in Pakistan also need to be exploited in line with global trends,” he said.

Burki pointed out that the current macroeconomic situation of Pakistan posed a great challenge to Smeda and the government, but without competing with world markets, SMEs could not play its role in economic development.

He termed the huge youth population and the agriculture sector major strengths of Pakistan’s economy, which could play a critical role in the growth of SMEs.

He called for imparting market-oriented education and training to the youth as well as converting the agricultural produce into value-added products as per international standards of processing and packaging. It will “enable exporters to tap the unexplored global markets.”


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