KARACHI - The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to set up an institute for printing and packaging technology in Pakistan from Export Development Surcharge (EDS) funds to impart education to the small and medium sized units to improve their printing and packaging to compete in global markets.

UNISAME President Zulfikar Thaver said one of the reasons the SME units are remaining behind on global shelves in super stores is due to poor packing. The super chains are demanding products with attractive pouch and sachet packing displaying the contents, looking attractive and enhancing the shelf live of the perishable and non perishable products.

The Pakistani exporters are making good quality products and have potentiality to gain bigger share in halal products but only because of less attractive packing they are losing markets in gulf, Middle East, Europe and America. The TDAP is sitting on huge amounts collected from EDS and could put the funds to good use by setting up the much needed institute of printing and packaging technology to promote enhanced quality and superior packaging in Pakistan. The importance of attractive packing cannot be denied and it is very essential for any product to be well packed and look good in line with products from different countries of the world.

Thaver as member board of directors offered help to TDAP on behalf of the SMEDA and urged TDAP to join hands with SMEDA in setting up the institute. Good packing will also encourage brand promotion and inspire the SMEs units to work in the direction of quality improving, image building and brand marketing.

The three major factors are quality, price and packing and whilst Pakistan has worked its way up in quality and price it is lacking in packing and packing materials.

Thaver also urged the government to facilitate the SMEs desirous of importing packaging machinery by financing imports under leasing. He also advocated the reduction of import duty and sales tax on packing materials to promote the packing and printing units.