JATOI MEETS OMANI MINISTER INDUSTRIES AND COMMERCE

Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi Federal Minister Industries and Production has invited government and private sector of Oman to join hands with Pakistan for SME development in the two brother countries. In a recent visit to Sultanate of Oman, while meeting with H. E. Dr. Ali Bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister for Commerce and Industries Oman, he discussed various proposals to strengthen industrial relations between the two nations. He was accompanied by Mr. Sheharyar Tahir, Head External Relations Directorate of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) on this occasion.

Omani Minister Dr. Ali Bin Masoud also expressed keen interest to expand industrial relations with Pakistan and emphasized to share mutual experience in the field of SME development. To proceed further in this direction, both the Ministers agreed to exchange SMEs delegations between the two countries.

 Mr. Jatoi was briefed on Oman’s SME development initiatives during his visit to Public Establishment for Industrial Estates. Omani side showed deep interest in strengthening bilateral relations in industry cooperation.

 Earlier, while speaking at a Regional Conference on SME Development, Mr. Jatoi shared that the Government of Pakistan had embarked upon an ambitious plan to boost the economy by making interventions in key areas for SME development and informed that SMEDA had been playing an important role in this regard. He observed that SMEs in the region were facing similar issues and we must learn from regional successful models.

Mr. Sheharyar Tahir Head External Relations Directorate SMEDA shared SME development initiatives in detail and said that institutional collaboration is a key to development of SMEs in the region. He assured to enhance coordination between Public Authority for SME Development Oman and SMEDA for future joint initiatives.

It is to note that the Minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi also met leading Pakistani businessmen and other dignitaries at an event hosted by the Ambassador of Pakistan during the visit. The Minister shared important role that SMEDA was playing to provide information on business opportunities in Pakistan. He said SMEDA would help them to develop linkage with SME sector in Pakistan.

Bank Alfalah INKS MOU WITH SMEDA FOR SME DEVELOPMENT

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and Bank Alfalah entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for uplift of the SME sector across Pakistan. The MOU was signed by Mr. Atif Bajwa, CEO Bank Alfalah and Mr. Haroon Ahmed Khan, General Manager Business and Sector Development Division, SMEDA at a ceremony held at Learning Center of the Bank Alfalah.

Mr. Atif Bajwa emphasized the need to grow SMEs from 35% of the economy to over 60% like in the developed countries and that it was important to provide SMEs with holistic support with such private and public partnerships.

Mr. Haroon Ahmed Khan applauded the efforts of Bank Alfalah for the development of the SME sector in Pakistan. He also spoke about the importance of SMEs as key drivers of productivity and economic growth. Mr. Haroon Ahmed noted that SMEDA looks forward to creating synergies between the two organizations to enhance SMEs’ access to finance.

The alliance envisions creating synergies for development of SME centric programs, improve SMEs’ access to finance and extend advisory and training support to established SMEs and entrepreneurial incubation centers in universities across Pakistan. It enhances the scope of collaboration already carried out by the two organizations vis-a-vis regional helpdesks for SMEs to avail formal sources of financing through the bank.

This is the first hybrid collaboration between a private commercial bank and a Government enterprise. The aim is to provide networking facilitation and capacity building for business entities to excel. The collaboration was greatly appreciated by the State Bank of Pakistan, which regularly promotes a SME centric mandate to banking institutions.

HANDBOOK ON INITIATIVES FOR SME PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT BY SBP, SMEDA & SECP

The SME sector has been encouraged to get the maximum benefit from initiatives of State Bank of Pakistan, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (3S). Focus of State Bank of Pakistan is towards increasing access to banking and finance. SMEDA, through its initiatives, promotes and facilitates the SME sector by offering various services and SECP provides an enabling regulatory environment for SMEs all over Pakistan. 

 

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AWARENESS SEMINAR ON PMYBL FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has launched a country-wide move to attract women entrepreneurs towards Prime Minister Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) through a series of awareness seminars by holding the first seminar of this series today at SMEDA head office under aegis of its Women Entrepreneurs Development Cell. Chairman Senate’s Standing Committee on Industries and Production Senator Hiayatullah, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Mrs. Khalida Parveen, Senator Mst. Kalsoom Parveen, Ms. Shazia Suleman, President Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lahore Chapter and Mr. Sher Ayub, CEO SMEDA attended the seminar as Guests of Honor. Whereas, Raja Hassanien Javed, Provincial Chief SMEDA-Punjab gave a detailed presentation on PMYBL to the participants coming from various sectors of women based businesses.

The guest senators unanimously urged the women to become active part of the national economy by entering into different fields of the SME sector. They acknowledged that PMYBL was the best option for financial support of the female young entrepreneurs. They appreciated SMEDA for having direct interaction with women entrepreneurs about incentives offered under the scheme.

CEO SMEDA Mr. Sher Ayub, replying to a question regarding further easing of the scheme for women to increase number of female applicants, assured to take up the suggestion with the concerned quarter for consideration. However, he vowed to continue direct communication with women entrepreneurs on government support facilities for entrepreneurship development with a special focus on PMYBL.

Earlier, the presentation given by Provincial Chief SMEDA-Punjab Mr. Hassanien Javed revealed that PMYBL had a 50% quota for women aging between 21-45 years and 5% quota for “Shaheed”’s widows and disabled persons. He informed that so far only 14% applicants out of the total received applications belonged to women. He further informed that initially the mark-up on PMYBL was 8%, which has been reduced to 6%. The balance part of the mark-up as per the market rate would be paid by the government of Pakistan to the banks, he said adding that only one reference and one guarantor is required for the loan. Since the loan is purely a business credit, therefore, applicants would have to produce a viable business plan or a prefeasibility study, for which over 100 business feasibilities are available on SMEDA website both in English and Urdu for guidance of the applicants.

Ms. Shazia Suleman, President WCCI-Lahore appreciated SMEDA for opening an awareness move on PMYBL especially for women. She stressed to expand the awareness campaign also to the less developed areas of the country.

Later, Ms. Tania Buttar, Deputy General Manager and Head Women Entrepreneurship Development Cell delivered vote of thanks to the participants.

It is to remember that PMYBL Scheme offers business loan facility to young entrepreneurs up to Rs.2 million for 8 years with an equity participation of only 10% by the applicant.

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