ISLAMABAD -- The awareness on various instruments that are available to facilitate exports' promotion and compliance with the international standards could open the doors of new markets across the globe for the Pakistani small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The experts on trade, investment and economy including from the public and private sectors said this while sharing their views with the participants at online consultative dialogue 'Textile and AMP; garment industry outlook amid COVID-19' organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Thursday.
Senior Economist at the World Bank, Gonzalo Varela, was of view that the productivity of Pakistani enterprises is low as compared to Bangladesh and India. Low investment is one of the key reasons behind this phenomenon and therefore, more capital needs to be diverted towards enhancing trade capabilities of private sector, he added.
'Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) can help export enterprises,' Mr Varela said and added further that FDI helps firms to integrate in global value chains. Pakistan can incentivize firms to export through bringing down tariffs on imports, improving logistics, and promoting smart branding and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) can help with branding and promotion, he concluded.
Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, while moderating the discussion, highlighted the need to create awareness across SMEs regarding export promotion schemes by the government. He said that the SMEs will need help to understand and meet buyer requirements which have become stringent during COVID-19 pandemic times and the Ministry of Commerce along with SMEDA could explain to the small firms how to comply with quality control measures, pre-shipment and border clearance requirements, anti-competitive measures and other conditions by buyers of Pakistani goods.
He suggested to the participants that public - private dialogue should be encouraged as it would help the government to understand the role of SME's in the trade space and how they could be helped to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, he said, it would also help to reflect stakeholders' position on fiscal, trade and SME policy and what the government needs to do to support SMEs.
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