KARACHI - The Standard Chartered and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group have signed an agreement in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum to launch a pilot programme to support the training and growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan. The agreement was signed in presence of State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar. In a statement issued on Monday, the SCBPL said the programme is Standard Chartered's response to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Millennium Development Goal Business Call to Action and would include innovative financial products, skills development, business mentoring and research to help small SMEs fulfil their growth potential. The SME sector is the engine of growth for economies worldwide. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, 99 per cent of enterprises in Pakistan are SMEs and SMEs account for 30 per cent of Pakistan's GDP. As yet the sector's full potential is far from realised. The pilot project will be launched in March 2009, in Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Faisalabad, targeting more than 100 entrepreneurs in these cities. International Finance Corporation will be Standard Chartered's primary partner in delivering the programme. IFC have trained and certified trainers to use their leading Business Edge material and translated it into Urdu for use in Standard Chartered's workshops. Standard Chartered Pakistan, the largest and fastest growing international bank in the country, with a large SME business, has identified different SME business segments to focus the training on. Standard Chartered will also identify the participants from these sectors for the workshops. Furthermore, the Bank will explore the potential to provide tailor-made financial products for participating entrepreneurs, in line with the Bank's SME credit strategy.