SMEs expect more from trade bodies: Thaver

Karachi:The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) being dissatisfied by the managing committees (MC) of most of the trade associations and chambers of commerce and industry has invited the attention of the Director of Trade Associations (DTO) towards neglect of SME members by the trade bodies.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver, in a statement here Monday, said SME members are taken for granted. He said they are called associate members by some bodies although they pay the same membership fees.

He said their issues related to finance, uninterrupted energy and duties on raw material are not fully advocated by these forums.

Thaver urged the DTO to make it mandatory for all trade bodies to set up ‘SME desks’ to address SMEs’ issues with full focus as in most of the trade bodies almost 80% are SME members.

He also urged the DTO to make it compulsory for every trade body to have committees for trade information, arbitration and disputes, pricing, advocacy, technical upgrading, infrastructure, collective security in industrial areas, branding, image-building and marketing support.

He said that the membership fees being charged are very high and unaffordable for many SME members.

UNISAME requested to dissolve trade associations who do not comply with the rules and regulations as per the memorandum and articles of association and drift away from the aims and object clause.

UNISAME has also urged the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) to offer training courses to trade bodies for purpose of capacity building.

Thaver urged Anjum Nisar, the president of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to work in this direction and ensure that all chambers and trade associations work seriously for the cause of the majority SME sector and give their SMEs equal attention.

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