ISLAMABAD - Technology and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) and the USAID Pakistan FIRMS Project entered into an agreement to help facilitate the upgrading of the technology and skills of key and strategic industrial clusters in Pakistan. The signing of the MoU between TUSDEC with the FIRMS Project confirms commitment of the two organisations to help usher in a new enabling business environment in Pakistan that would help create new jobs and increase exports, TUSDEC Chairman Manzar Shamim said after the signing ceremony. TUSDEC was established by Government of Pakistans Ministry of Industries and Production to upgrade technology and skills of key and strategic industrial clusters and connect Pakistan to the global value chain. The objective of the USAID Pakistan FIRMS Project is to improve government service delivery and develop dynamic, internationally competitive firms to accelerate sales, investment, and job growth to undercut the basis of extremism. The synergies between these mandates in the fields of research, technology, market linkages, franchising, and training make this collaboration potentially catalytic in a number of sectors. Chief Executive TUSDEC Suhael Ahmed said on the occasion, It is time to combine our expertise and energies and work jointly towards accelerating private sector-led economic growth. We aim to achieve this through more rapid adoption of market-oriented technological and other best practices. Asad Zahoor, the FIRMS Private Sector Development Component Leader, said, This MoU helps build on these synergies and both partners can leverage their respective resources for private sector enhancement. Partnership with TUSDEC complements USAID interventions in the priority sectors of livestock, horticulture, marble, gemstones and light engineering. The USAID-funded FIRMS Project, working jointly with progressive Pakistani institutions such as TUSDEC, aims to enhance competitiveness in multiple sectors across a variety of districts. Skill development, especially of Pakistani women, introduction of new technologies and value addition are expected to benefit around 250,000 people.