New UK-funded initiative to help Pak SMEs

03 Jun '21
2 min read
Pic: Intracen
Pic: Intracen

A new initiative to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan to effectively engage in international markets was launched last month. The UK-funded £5 million project, part of an existing project running from 2020 to 2024, will help enhance Pakistan’s trade diversification and integration into global value chains. Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) will implement the initiative.

The efforts are part of a larger UK-supported Revenue mobilization, Investment and Trade Programme (ReMIT) programme aimed at contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic development in Pakistan.

“It is very heartening to note that the aims and objectives of the project dovetail and align with the Strategic Trade Policy Framework of the government through which we aim to revitalise Pakistan’s economy in the challenging times of COVID-19. I am pleased to note that the project international trade environment will be strengthened by enhancing exports, augmenting institutional capacities, and introducing trade facilitation reforms,” Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to prime minister on commerce and investment and textile, was quoted as saying in an ITC press release.

“This project is a comprehensive and far-reaching project involving major public and private stakeholders in business and international trade in Pakistan,” Pakistani commerce secretary Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui said.

Through development of Pakistan’s National Priority Sector’s Export Strategy and capacity building of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Trade Development Authority (TDAP), the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) and business associations and groups, the programme will support formulation and reform of trade policies, including addressing some of the main barriers to trade.

These efforts will reflect public-private consensus. The project will also build business associations’ capacity for advocacy, including women entrepreneurs.

A trade facilitation toolbox will be developed, for optimal implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The project will also contribute to increased transparency of trade rules and improve business compliance with cross-border requirements, and ensure inclusivity through addressing barriers that women businesses face in integrating into export value chains.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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