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"United Against Corruption for a Prosperous Pakistan"

Governor hails Smeda e-commerce initiatives

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Friday said that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) initiatives for developing e-commerce sector in Pakistan could create a number of new jobs and a vast room for export promotion through global e-commerce platforms like Amazon.

He was addressing a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Smeda and a leading e-commerce company, The Extreme Commerce, held at Governor House on Friday.

The Sindh governor congratulated the government of Pakistan for the initiative and appreciated the Ministry of Industries and Production for focusing special attention through Smeda on enabling local SMEs to take benefit from global trade opportunities available on Amazon.

He said that Smeda had planned to take special initiatives to develop e-commerce as a full-fledged sector.

CEO of Smeda Hashim Raza disclosed that the organisation was going to launch a sustainable programme for enhancing access of SMEs to world markets through Amazon and other leading platforms also.

“We are going to take all leading firms supporting E-commerce into loop to enable SMEs of Pakistan for availing the highest benefits out of the government of Pakistan’s official arrangement with Amazon. The first memorandum of understanding signed with Extreme Commerce is focused on skills development and capacity building of SMEs on e-commerce,” he added.

CEO of Extreme Commerce Sunny Ali in his address said that the MoU with Smeda would empower SMEs to get started for selling their products and services on Amazon and also on other similar platforms. Both the organisations will take collaborative initiatives for providing SMEs with the necessary education and training to digitise their business for reaching out to more customers in the world markets without making huge expenditures on travelling abroad.

Later, CEO of Smeda and CEO of Extreme Commerce signed the MOU.

SMEDA-ADBI Joint Survey Report - Impact of COVID-19 on SMEs

Pakistan ranks 3rd in government support provided to SMEs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, according to a recently launched “Impact of COVID-19 on SMEs” Survey Report conducted on-line by SMEDA, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and Asian Productivity Organization (APO). The survey was conducted by ADBI and APO in other countries from the region including; Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Lao PDR. The online survey was administered in August 2020 and lasted till September 2020, in which, 236 SMEs from Pakistan participated.  

Findings of the survey reveal that the majority of enterprises in Pakistan were facing cash flow (82%) and raw material (65%) shortage. However, 11.44% SMEs in Pakistan expect their sales revenue to increase as compared to 2019, while 12.29% respondent enterprises expect their sales revenue to remain the same.

Among the changes reported in the business environment between February and April 2020, Pakistan was the best performer in the region (in terms of the percentage of enterprises) with only 36.44% respondents reporting a significant decline in domestic demand. In comparison 72.29% enterprises in Bangladesh, 50% in India, 42.52% in Indonesia and 63.5% in Malaysia reported a significant drop in domestic demand.

In terms of government support provided, Government of Pakistan’s Electricity Support Package played a role in supporting SMEs directly during these trying times with 27% respondents in Pakistan reporting that they received support through payment of utility bills. Respondents in other countries however reported different areas of support received, such as; new bank loans or deferred payment of bank loans. Businesses being impacted by the economic crunch due to the debilitating pandemic reported that they require support in payment of utilities, tax exemptions or lower tax rates and rent payment to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Full report of the survey can be downloaded from the link below;

SMEDA and TDAP ink MOU

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Ministry of Industries and Production and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Ministry of Commerce have joined hands to make coordinated efforts for promotion of exports from the SME sector. Both the organizations have inked a Memorandum of Understanding to organize mutual cooperation for complimenting efforts towards export and trade development with a special focus on increasing capacity of women entrepreneurs to export and use e-commerce platforms.

Under the MOU, both the Parties have established a regular and reciprocal exchange of trade and economic information and also information concerning important international and domestic events, carried out for the purpose of identifying business conditions and opportunities. Both the organizations are exchanging information relating to the joint working programs relating to export promotion in the SME sector.

TDAP is facilitating SMEDA’s linkage development with Commercial Sections in the Embassies for Trade Data, Information and SME related activities. Both the organizations are also planning to conduct joint training programs, seminars and workshops locally as well as internationally, on all aspects of exports and skill development for SMEs and women entrepreneurs including the usage of e-Commerce, online business and business digitization.

The MoU, concluded in this regard has enabled SMEDA and TDAP to promote and execute various initiatives also relating to Pakistan Goes Global (PGG) program.

It is notable that the collaborated efforts of both the organizations have proven to be very helpful for SMEs, especially the women entrepreneurs for having useful information and practical support from the two business development institutions.