LAHORE: The Bank of Punjab (BOP) and Reenergia-Ipsos entered into an agreement on 29th December 2023 for the development of a “Pakistan SME Environment & Performance Index (BOP-PAK-SEPI)”.

The Index will be the first of its kind, track the environment and the performance of SMEs in Pakistan on a periodical basis. SEPI will incorporate the existing Business Enabling Environment Index for Pakistan (BEEIP) developed with financing support of USAID for Pakistan by Reenergia-Ipsos, and will be a dynamic tool providing the much-needed detailed insights into the performance of the SME sector as a whole along with providing granular details on SME sub-segments and clusters helping more informed policy making, regulation, and targeted financial interventions as it shall be capturing demographic cuts along with Women-Led and Export-Oriented SMEs.

The Index will be developed in 2 phases. Phase-I will consist of Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with the relevant stakeholders, i.e. BOP, SBP, SECP, etc. and secondary data gathering from the existing data repositories of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, SMEDA, World Bank, etc. relating to the Pakistani SME Value Chains. Phase-II will consist of the primary research for actual data gathering through questionnaire-based market survey of SMEs across all geographies and value chains including Agri.

Speaking at the occasion, Asif Riaz (Group Head Consumer Banking – BOP) said that development of the BOP-PAK-SEPI will enable BOP to increase financing to SMEs under a better-informed and targeted manner, specifically for Women-Led and Export-Oriented SMEs. He added that the Index shall add value for policy makers, regulators, multi-laterals, donors and banks in increasing access to finance for the MSME sector.

Amer Zafar Durrani (President – Reenergia) lauded the initiative, foreseeing an improved flow of much-needed credit support for SMEs along with targeted policy making through better-informed decisions for the MSME sector.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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