Government Should Support SME Sector for Economic Prosperous Pakistan
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector in Pakistan has always been underprivileged. There are some core issues like lack of access to proper financial facilitations and at the policy level, SMEs sector is not dealt with serious concentration. Both at policy formulation level as well the on financial facilitation, government and the financial institutions respectively are more inclined towards the large scale business setups and industrial units. Similar is the situation when it comes to the Microfinance and the foreign investors. On the contrary, it is evident from the economic development history of big economies around the world that the economic well being and strengthening has resulted from the progressive development of SME sector in their countries.
Keeping eyes on the economic future and building Pakistan, as a nation of prosperous and developed people, business communities, Economic scholars and different forums in Pakistan has been voicing for the SME sector development. Similarly, All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has reminded and brought the issue to the light again and again. President of the Forum, -Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi recently raised his concerns about the policy formulation orientations and momentum with which SMEs are dealt with so far by the Government. Expressing his thoughts Mr. Qureshi said, “Government must support SME sector for the economic prosperity of Pakistan. It will be difficult to transform our nation into a stronger economy without giving due share to the establishment and patronizing small and medium businesses.”
Every developing economy in the world has recognized the importance of the SME sector and accordingly has laid down the foundations of policy level revolutionary approach in parallel with the financial support for these very basic economic units. Mr. Qureshi also expressed his understanding of the issues SMEs are facing here in Pakistan and said, “It is not that our people are not having the ideas or the passion to start their small units of business, but actually it is the business environment, generally, that is occupied with the large business sectors only. Even on the finance side, Micro-finance institutions (MFIs) and banks are more comfortable with large enterprises regardless of the fact that SME sector remained remarkably positive in its approach, dealing with the MFIs and its paybacks.
Apart from this what we have witnessed is the technical expertise gap in SMEs. They are quite often unable to communicate their business plans with the potential investors. Also, there is a lengthy procedure and process that renders them hesitant to involve in any such activities on the first hand.” In the remedial Mr. Qureshi stressed the government to lay the initiatives on the three very basic levels of policy formulation, technical support, and training, financial policy and support for SMEs. He also said that “Being a business forum APBF is engaged with the elevation of the business standards in Pakistan regardless of the business scale. We will be extending our best supports from this platform. Now it is up to the government to play its role wisely for facilitating the establishment and growth of small and medium enterprises.
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) is a vibrant business association, with over 2000 member from the highly reputed business community, former ambassadors, and diplomats, business analysts and researchers from all around Pakistan, which promotes and protects the interests of the business community and industry. APBF is intended to realize a prosperous and profoundly economically strong Pakistan. It has the strong insight of national and foreign policy shaping and advising. Subsequently, it also suggests and advises the Government sector, regarding policy formulation, regulatory realignments and implementation in the commercial and industrial sectors of the economy. APBF has been consistently playing a positive role in the elevation of standards and facilitation of business activity in Pakistan. APBF as a representative of Pakistani business community has a decorated reputation in the foreign business spheres, both at regional and international level.