SAARC Chamber asks govt to encourage young entrepreneurs to achieve economic targets

ISLAMABAD, Oct 28 (APP):SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Monday said Pakistan should focus on encouraging its youth towards entrepreneurship for improving livelihoods, expanding economy and promoting jobs.

Inaugurating a two day boot camp for Startups organized by SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Plan9 here today, Iftikhar Ali Malik Senior Vice Presidents urged on encouraging its youth towards entrepreneurship because unemployed youth is a recipe for disaster,” says a press release issued here Monday.
He said Pakistan has a growing labour force with 1.7 million young people reaching working age each year.

However, four million young people between the ages of 15-24 years are unemployed and this number is set to rise to 8.6 million by 2020.

He said there is dire need of starting a wave of entrepreneurial development, which is not limited to providing encouragement to potential entrepreneurs through technical assistance, mentoring and capacity building, but the same would ultimately lead to positive contribution to the overall economy by creating job opportunities and revenue businesses.

“We need a national and sub-national policy framework and develop institutions to assist these young entrepreneurs to grow”.

He said youth accounts for over 60 percent of Pakistan’s population and it is essential to encourage them in entrepreneurship so that they could become more productive and contribute positively to the growth of national economy.

Iftikhar Malik called upon government, private sector, academia and civil society to put efforts together to mentor, guide and support youth of Pakistan to unleash immense economic and social potential.

Birgit Lamm, Head of Pakistan Office for Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom apprised upon importance of cooperation and coordination amongst the varied stakeholders for strengthening startup ecosystem in the region. “Every risk equally has challenges and opportunities, it’s up to a diligent mind to convert that risk into an opportunity” she added.

Salman Amin, Director Entrepreneurship, Plan9, an initiative of the Government of Punjab speaking on the occasion said that the government is playing a crucial role to strengthen the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. New institutions and infrastructure are being developed and enabling policies are being drafted.

He also said that the Government of Pakistan is developing more than 36 co-working spaces all across Pakistan to boost up the entrepreneurial culture in the country.

Rehmatullah Javed, former General Secretary SAARC CCI and Chairman SME Committee FPCCI said the capacity building of Youth and young entrepreneurs is the need hour and fostering the culture of entrepreneurship has become indispensable to cope with the challenges of globalization and 4th industrial revolution.

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