3rd SME Conference to begin on 27th

LAHORE (APP): Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is going to hold a two-day 3rd SME Conference here at Alhamrah Hall on November 27-28, 2018. Talking about upcoming conference here Sunday, SMEDA Chief Executive Officer Sher Ayub said that 3rd SME Conference would be unique as it would combine the idea of 'theme specific dialogue' between experts and sessions on 'SME focused research'. The two-day conference would look into various facets of SME development and entrepreneurship, he said, asserting that second day of the conference would especially focus on one of the most critical mega projects in Pakistan's history; the CPEC, a project that promised to be a game changer in economy of Pakistan. However, what strategies could be adopted to realise the regional trade potential and achieve sustainable development goals would also be discussed during the conference besides reviewing the challenges to be faced by SME sector in entrepreneurship development, sustainability and regional integration, he said.

Giving background of holding SME Conference on annual basis, SMEDA Chief said that as part of its SME development mandate, SMEDA sought to minimize the disconnect that existed between those who created the evidence base and those who were positioned to implement the research findings.

In order to bridge the industry-academia-government gap and benefit from the experience of seasoned professionals, business veterans and erudite scholars, an SME Conference platform was launched in 2016, he said and observed that the platform had enhanced collaboration between SME sector stakeholders to carry out the SME focused research in Pakistani universities, think tanks, etc. and subsequently feed into the policy development.

He said that 1st and 2nd SME Conferences had been conducted successfully in the year 2016 and 2017, in collaboration with the University of Management and Technology (UMT) and other local and international partners. These flagship Conferences conducted by SMEDA draw a large number of participants from the SME sector, who attend the Conference to; benefit from SME specific research, learn from entrepreneurs and businessmen, exchange ideas, and network, Sher Ayub added.

CCRI new cotton variety gets commercial licence

MULTAN (APP): Central Cotton Research Institute's (CCRI) variety BT CIM-632 got commercial license and farmers can cultivate it for getting enhanced production up to 40 maund per acre. The license was taken from Punjab Seed Council. Earlier, the variety was prepared and trialled by scientists of Central Cotton Research Institute for period of two years. After getting approval from National Coordinated Varietal Trial (NCVT), a national level forum of scientists hailing from all provinces for complete inspection of new cotton varieties, the CCRI variety CIM-632 was presented to Punjab Seed Council for issuance of commercial licence. Recently, Punjab Seed Council awarded commercial licence for the new variety. The new variety of CCRI is capable of good resistance against climate change, pink bollworm, white flies and other viruses. The CCRI sources informed that the variety would bring about revolution in cotton sector. It is considered as one of the leading production variety in the country. To a query about its expected production, the CCRI officials informed that it has capacity to offer over 40 maunds per acre. It is pertinent to mention here that an average production of cotton in the country is nearly 21 to 25 maunds per acre.

Roadmap 2018-23 being formulated to woo investments

ISLAMABAD (APP): A five-year Trade Related Investment Policy Framework (TRIPF-2018-23) is being formulated to provide a comprehensive package of incentives to attract investment in export-oriented production and competitive import substitution. Ministry of Commerce is formulating the Framework that will be integrated in Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2018-23. Official sources Sunday said the TRIPF will focus on priority sectors such as footwear & bags, apparel & textile, aluminium sheets & foils, high technology steel making, juice & syrups, confectionery, edible oil, fish & fish products, oil refinery & petrochemicals, data processing/ITC equipment, telecom, led lights, solar panels, consumer electronics, integrated circuits manufacturing, automotive electronic, electrical equipment, and chromium bromide batteries. Besides, Board of investment (BoI) is formulating an Investment Strategy in consultation with all stakeholders.

Based on detailed sector scanning exercise a framework integrating, the TRIPF would be designed to attract investment in import substitution or export based.

The sources said these measures would be instrumental to attract substantial investment in export industry of the country.

Tajikistan willing to resume direct flights with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (APP): Tajikistan is willing to resume direct flight operation with Pakistan to exploit tourism potential existing between the two countries, Tajikistan's ambassador Sherali Jononov said on Sunday. Resumption of flight of less than an hour duration can help the two geographically close countries Pakistan and Tajikistan to strengthen their people-to-people relations," Ambassador Jononov told APP here at an event held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Ambassador Jononov said Tajik Air had approached Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for resumption of flight operation, to which a response was awaited. He mentioned that earlier Tajikistan had launched direct flights of Somon Air between Dushanbe and Lahore in 2016 twice a week however, regretted that the operation was suspended later on. The Ambassador said besides promotion of tourism, the direct air link between Pakistan and Tajikistan would also help enhance the bilateral economic relations.