Lahore, March 15, 2017 (PPI-OT): SME Development policies based upon research would pave way for economic revolution in Pakistan. It was stated by Sheikh Alauddin, Provincial Minister Industries, Trade and Investment while addressing inaugural session of the 2nd SME Conference-International organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) in collaboration with University of Management and Technology (UMT) today at a local hotel. The inaugural session of the two-day conference was also addressed by Mr. Khizar Hayat Gondal, Federal Secretary Industries and Production, Mr. Serdar Demiz, Counsel General of Turkey, Dr. Rebecca Fox, George mason University, USA, Dr. Hassan Sohaib Murad, Rector, UMT and Mr. Sher Ayub Khan, Chief Executive Officer of SMEDA, who delivered address of welcome to the guests.
Addressing as Chief Guest, the Provincial Minister Industries admitted that there was dire need of instituting policy reforms based on research, field studies, circumstantial evidence and innovations.
The importance of creating a ‘best practice ecosystem’ to foster the establishment and growth of SMEs requires research based policy measures, he said and urged the development agencies and government departments to play an instrumental role in materializing and translating these research outcomes into concrete projects. He acknowledged that SME led Economic growth cannot be achieved without developing synergies among all the stakeholders. He hoped that the Conference, in this regard, would prove to be a milestone in SME development as it had brought together the SME Stakeholders on one platform.
He appreciated SMEDA and UMT for filling in the gap between industry and academia for promoting business related research in Pakistan. He expressed confidence that such approach will enhance competitiveness SMEs by generating knowledge-based products and services. He assured of the fullest cooperation of Punjab government to SMEDA for boosting the goal of SME development in Pakistan at par with developed nations.
Federal Secretary Industries and Production Mr. Khizar Hayat Gondal, speaking on this occasion as guest of honour told that SME development was on prime agenda of the present government and SMEDA, as part of the Ministry of Industries and amp; Production, Government of Pakistan, had been making efforts for serving as a bridge between the SME sector and the government. The diverse product and service portfolio of SMEDA is serving the business needs for new enterprise creation and further growth of businesses in the country. But, we can never be able to delve into the deeper depths of SME sector without research, he said. Through research, we are able to comprehend the complex dimensions of SMEs and are able to create the business infrastructure necessary to meet the growing needs of business, he added hoped that the current SME Conference would produce valuable research-based recommendations for SME Policy reforms.
Delivering address of welcome, Mr. Sher Ayub, CEO SMEDA highlighted significance of the research for SME reforms. He told that SMEDA was striving hard to create a conducive environment for SMEs in the country. He pointed out like developed nations of the world Pakistan had also no option other than SME Development to meet the challenge of unemployment and poverty. But the goal had been a dream just for having no accurate data and research, he said adding that an annual feature of SME Conference had been commenced since last year to create a business related research in the higher education institutes. He acknowledge the efforts of UMT being the major partner with SMEDA in this direction.
Rector UMT Dr. Hassan Sohaib Murad, while addressing as the major partner of the conference told that UMT had encouraged all universities of Pakistan to focus their research on SME development, because the SME sector, in Pakistan constitutes 99% of economic establishments and contributes an estimated 40% to GDP holding an equivalent percentage to exports. We set an ideal example private-public partnership in this regard that needs to be replicated, added and assured of the best cooperation of his university also in the future for economic betterment of the country.
Counsel General of Turkey Mr. Serdar Demiz, while expressing his comments on this occasion congratulated government of Pakistan for focusing attention on SME development. He told that the economic progress achieved by Turkey was dependent on the rapid development of SMEs. He hoped that SMEDA’s move to take academia on board for catalysing SME sector through research would bring positive results in Pakistan.
Dr. Rebecca Fox of the George Mason University, USA also termed the research a strong foundation for policy making and observed that without close collaboration of researchers and enterprises no economy can grow on fast track. She appreciated SMEDA and UMT for approaching international academia to share international research and best practices in the field of SME development.
The inaugural session of the conference was followed by technical sessions on three thematic areas, which include “Developing Conducive Business Environment for SMEs”, Local and International Market Development for SMEs” and Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development”.
The conference will hold a full day proceedings till tomorrow (Thursday), which will hold two exclusive sessions on “SMEs Access to Finance” followed by a closing session in the evening with Federal Minister Industries and Production Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi as Chief Guest.
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