LAHORE: Guangdong Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Bureau offered Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) around 20 stalls free of cost at Chinese SME Fair scheduled for October 2014 in Guangzhou, Guangdong.
Heading a 5-member Chinese delegation, He Zuoxian Deputy Director General Guangdong SME Bureau talking to the LCCI President Sohail Lashari and its members said all the Pakistani businessmen who would take part in SME Fair would be facilitated and Business-2-Business meetings would be arranged.
He said the SME sector could ensure an economic turnaround provided it was facilitated keeping in view its requirements. He said they also had meetings with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) so that a working plan could be evolved in collaboration with Pakistani SME sector.
He said the Chinese SME policy was due next month and it would be shared with chambers of commerce in Pakistan. Sohail Lashari agreed to take part in the Chinese SME Fair and thanked the visiting delegation for their 20-free of cost stalls offer.
He said Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand etc who excelled on the basis of having well performing SME sector. Now China has become the best example of emerging as an economic power largely relying on SME sector. He sought the Chinese systematic approach and those policies, which played major role in transforming the SME sector.
He said there was no second opinion that SMEs provide low cost employment opportunities and help the economies in several ways as they boost exports, reduce poverty, create jobs and enhance rural development etc.
He said approximately more than 3.2 million SMEs were functioning in Pakistan. SME sector contributes almost 30 percent in Gross Domestic Products, employs more than 70 percent of the non-agricultural workforce and generates around 25 percent in export earnings.
Due to severe energy crisis, SMEs in Pakistan are not keeping pace with critical minimum requirement needed to remain viable and survive,he added.
He said other challenges included low access to finance, inflationary pressures, little know-how of best business practices, inadequate technologies, shortage of skilled labour etc. The biggest hurdle in their way of business growth is shortage of collateral to avail loaning facilities from banks.
He said that it was high time there should be some study tours arranged for the sake of knowledge sharing and closely examining the SME models of both the countries to bring some improvement in the existing setup of SME in Pakistan. He said because of its strategic location, Pakistan offers tremendous opportunities for foreign investment. He said ample opportunities of foreign investment were available in energy sector, which was the top priority of the government keeping in view the revival of the economy.
The grant of Generalised System of Preferences plus status to Pakistan by the European Union had created new opportunities for local and foreign investors therefore it was high time for Chinese investors to set up joint ventures and make direct investment in areas of interest.
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