LAHORE: In response to a proposal of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has started implementation on the 4 years “SMEDA-JICA Auto Parts project” in collaborating with PAAPAM. The introductory workshop of the project was held today at a local hotel, which was addressed by Mr. Ishfaq Ahmed, DGM, B&SDS of SMEDA and Mr. Hiroshi KANKEKI, Chief of the JICA Team. A number of the representatives from PAAPAM, EDB and OEMs were present on this occasion.

Mr. Ishfaq Ahmed, DGM, B&SDS SMEDA while delivering address of welcome to JICA experts, acknowledged the everlasting support of JICA for up-gradation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of Pakistan. He said that the Auto sector was one of the fastest growing sectors in Pakistan, which was contributing towards the nation’s economy through employment and revenue generation. But, unfortunately, Pakistan has not been able to derive maximum benefits in terms of technical know-how, production technology and quality control in order to upgrade the vendor base of auto sector, he said adding that SMEDA had been collaborating with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) since 2004 to fill in this gap by conducting best productivity and quality improvement initiatives through JICA experts and the current project is an important part of this continued cooperation.

Chief of JICA team Mr. Hiroshi KANKEKI informed that during the said 4 years program, technical support will be extended to 50 Auto Parts manufacturing units of Pakistan through five (05) JICA Technical Experts, who have arrived in Pakistan and continued their operation. Out of 50 SMEs, around 10 SMEs would be developed as model factories in the field of productivity & quality, he said.  Furthermore, developing support system through capacity building of partner organizations and local experts is prime consideration of the project; keeping in view the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the relevant fields in consideration, he added. He further informed that JICA would also hold technical support workshops in various cities of Pakistan and the current workshop being held at Lahore is the opening of this series.