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LAHORE: The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has identified five clusters of SMEs as the high potential export-oriented sectors of economy, which include Information Technology, Food Processing, Surgical Instruments, Leather and Pharmaceutical. The sectors were discussed at an exclusive session on Private Sector-led Growth held in chair with Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Additional Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production at the recent Turn around Pakistan Conference.

Hashim Raza, Chief Executive Officer of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), who gave a presentation on significance of SMEs in enhancing export-led growth in Pillar-V session of the conference, informed here on Thursday that one of the key areas of the Conference for improving the competitiveness was to adopt a cluster-based development of high potential SME sectors from a trade augmentation perspective. Cluster-based approach can lead to integration of supply chain, ease in logistics, knowledge sharing, availability of skilled labour and uniform evolution of SME sector, he said adding that cluster-based approach may also help improve value addition, which in turn will help the country get plugged into the global value chain and fetch higher export proceeds, thus leading to export-oriented growth of the economy.

He acknowledged that conference’s module had specially focused to identify high potential export oriented sectors of the economy along with the key issues and gaps in the cluster-based value chain. He informed that stakeholders of the SME sector have suggested a number of key interventions to address the issues faced by SMEs by identifying five sectors; IT, Food Processing, Surgical Instruments, Leather and Pharmaceutical by recommending a set of supportive policy measures to enhance export.

The suggestions given by the stakeholders demanded incentives for tax relief to the SMEs producing medium to high-tech value-added products including establishment of IT specific technology zones and FDIs in high tech industries. The support for acquisition, diffusion and transfer of technology has also been demanded by the stakeholders of SME sectors to enhance productivity and competitiveness of the aforementioned sectors, said CEO SMEDA. Moreover, facilitation to SMEs in areas of technological transformation, research and development and financial assistance to grab emerging opportunities in international market was also sought by the SME stakeholders in the conference, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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