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Productivity enhancement and competitiveness of SMES is the key to sustainable development

Islamabad, September 30, 2021 (PPI-OT):Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bukhtiar on Thursday stressed on Productivity Enhancement and Competitiveness of SMEs in the local and global market to achieve sustainable development in Pakistan.

He was addressing a session organized by National Productivity Organization (NPO) for women entrepreneurs on “Introduction to Productivity Journey and SMEs Fund for Business Recovery and Resilience for Covid-19 affected SMEs” held at NPO, Head Office Islamabad. The session was organized with the objective to improve productivity awareness of women entrepreneurs and active engagement in SMEs Fund initiated by NPO through support of Asian Productivity Organization (APO).

Talking at the session, the Federal Minister highlighted Government’s efforts to support industrial development through a set of policies and tax benefits to industries and specifically women entrepreneurs. He also shared Government will introduce specialized credits for firms with provisions for majority of women. The Federal Minister requested the women participants to share their proposals with Government as it is highly committed to support business community in Pakistan. The Minister noted that proposed SME policy would outline incentives for women-oriented businesses thus reducing gender gap in financial inclusion and mainstreaming the role of women in the economy.

He said that MoIP would allot land to SMEs on rental lease model in SEZs. He called for special lending scheme for garment sector and IT enabled services within purview of SME policy. Addressing to the session, Parliamentary Secretary Industries and Production Aliya Hamza highlighted that Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) through its sub-ordinate organizations like NPO and SMEDA is playing an active role to facilitate the women entrepreneurs so that they may excel in their relevant fields.

The government is focusing on entrepreneurial opportunities for sustainable employment growth, skill based education and engagement of youth and women in socio economic affairs. MNA Saira Bano also shared that Government will take solid initiatives to utilize potential of women entrepreneurs through NPO, SMEDA, TUSDEC and other relevant MoIP organizations.

Federal Parliamentary Secretary for National Heritage and Culture Division, Ghazala Saifi also briefed the participants that Lok Virsa is facilitating women entrepreneurs to sell their products /services. She also mentioned that their division will support free stalls for deserving women identified and recommended through chambers. CEO – SMEDA Hashim Raza while sharing his views said that women focused SME development is a key priority of SMEDA, MoIP and the organization has taken key initiatives to support women entrepreneurs including Women Entrepreneurs Incubation Centre, National Business Development Program and Industrial Stitching Unit Grants.

CEO – NPO Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry briefed the participants that it is the first step towards launching productivity movement in Pakistan as Government of Pakistan has recently approved NPO project “Improving Competitiveness through Sustainable National Productivity (SNP)” which aims to enhance productivity awareness among masses through trainings, seminars, conferences, engagement of experts and awareness tools like productivity portal, journal, walks, competitions, curriculums etc.

CEO NPO also shared that NPO is playing a vital role in enhancing the productivity through its specialized programs including Technical Services through International Experts, Study Mission to APO Member Countries, Establishment of Demonstration Factories and Participation in Multi Country Training and Research Programs. Beside this initiative for COVID-19 affected SMEs, women entrepreneurs may also focus of specialized programs of NPO so that maximum benefit can be availed from the international forum of Asian Productivity Organization, Japan for betterment of the women entrepreneurs and collectively for the society.

The session was physically and virtually attended by women parliamentarians, Government officials, Representatives of Women Chambers and Women Entrepreneurs from across Pakistan. National Productivity Organization is a public company working under Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) with a vision of “Economically Productive and Globally Competitive Pakistan”. NPO is also a member of Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Japan, a network of 22 Asian member countries to make them globally competitive.

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