LAHORE - The 5-Year SME Development Plan developed by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has been made part of Pakistan Vision 2025 approved by the government.

The plan envisages growth of SME sector through a valuable contribution to the economy in terms of GDP, exports enhancement, number of jobs and new enterprises. According to a recent report compiled by SMEDA, implementation of the plan was one part of the SME development equation, much of the work was done in the cluster and business facilitation domains. Only last year, over 7,000 SMEs were provided direct services and a private investment of Rs1.25 billion was mobilised through SMEDA efforts across various sectors. Training programmes and capacity building initiatives in various business areas were conducted with over 6,500 participants. Sports Industries, Development Centre, Sialkot, a state of the art infrastructure facility, began its operations and is now providing services to the sports goods manufacturing sector, demonstrating new technology adoption in sports goods manufacturing, the report added.

Since SMEs have a pervasive presence across various economic sectors, SMEDA has prioritised thirteen (13) sectors for its development interventions. Firm and industry value chain analyses in the context of the domestic and international business environment was carried out for each sector, identifying game changers that can transform the entire dynamic of the sector and accrue benefits across the entire spectrum of the value chain. Thus, adopting a programmatic approach, interventions for each sector have been identified in the areas of policy and regulations, access to finance, business development services and infrastructure and networking.

Fuad Hashim, GM, Business and Sector Development Division of SMEDA, commenting on the SMEDA working strategy, said that SMEDA had been operating on both demand and supply sides of the SME development equation besides striving hard to develop the capacity of SMEs to benefit from the development support provided by the public sector. On the other hand, it has also been advocating with the government to undertake development interventions for SME growth, he said.

Head of SMEDA’s Policy and Planning Division, Nadia Jahangir Seth, said in her comments on significance of the SME development, “The SME development is pursued as a key economic reform agenda by governments around the world. Policies are, therefore, framed and implemented for supporting existing SMEs and new start-ups in the developed and developing countries, alike. There are a number of SME development organisations around the world that have played a pivotal role in supporting, steering and coordinating SME development in their countries.