Lahore  - The small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and the State Bank of Pakistan inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today at SMEDA Head Office. The MoU was by Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, CEO SMEDA and Syed Samar Hasnain, Director Infrastructure, Housing and SME Finance., State Bank of Pakistan on behalf of their organizations. Dr. Naeem Rauf, GM-Central Support, Dr. Nasir Khan Ghauri, GM-Monitoring and Evaluation and a number of other officials form SMEDA also attended the signing ceremony.

The MoU has been a result of the joint deliberations held between the two organizations over the last few months, where earlier, meetings were held between the Governor SBP and CEO SMEDA and teams from the two organizations. Through the MoU, both the organizations will join hands in facilitating and supporting SMEs in increasing their share in formal credit and providing new venues for formal financing. To achieve the objectives of financial inclusion and capacity building of SMEs, both the organizations shall share relevant information for establishing an institutional mechanism of coordination. SMEDA in this regard, shall assist the SBP in bringing the demand side issues including assessment for credit enhancement and risk mitigation mechanisms, such as Credit Guarantees, Insurance etc.

In terms of building the capacity of SMEs for accessing formal sources of finances, SMEDA will develop and implement capacity building programs for SMEs. Both the organizations will develop joint programmes for information dissemination on available financing options across Pakistan, in partnership with commercial banks and other financial institutions. An effective marketing plan for collaborative initiatives shall be developed jointly for creating awareness among the SMEs. Under the MoU, the SBP shall ensure that SMEDA is represented on committees and other forums constituted and programmes launched by SBP for facilitating SMEs access to finance.

CEO SMEDA Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, while expressing his views on this occasion, hoped that the MOU would address the long standing need of SMEs regarding access to formal credit. He was confident that the collaboration between the SBP and SMEDA would lead to unleashing the true potential of SMEs through provision of demand driven financial products and services.