Lahore: Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and the Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) have agreed to share evidence-based research work for economic development of Pakistan through SMEs growth.
A joint meeting of the two organizations was held today in SMEDA’s Head office with CEO SMEDA Mr. Hashim Raza in chair. The Chief Executive Officer of CERP, Mr. Maroof Ali Syed presented the vision, research projects, and contribution of CERP towards evidence-based research work to SMEDA’s team which included General Manager, Policy and Planning Division, Ms. Nadia Jahangir Seth, Deputy General Manager, Outreach Division, Mr. Shaheen Tahir. Subsequently, CEO SMEDA apprised CERP’s team of the services being provided by SMEDA to SMEs, the projects being undertaken, and how SMEDA is providing support to the SME Sector in the shape of National SME Policy 2021.
Both CEOs exchanged their views on economic development, which can be supported through evidence based research. CEO SMEDA highlighted that the SME Sector comprises an estimated 5.2 million enterprises which contribute 40% to Pakistan’s GDP. Therefore, research and support programs geared towards uplifting of the SME sector can reap myriad benefits and contribute to overall economic growth targets of the country.
CEO SMEDA stressed on the issues of SMEs and how SMEDA is working towards their redressal. CERP and SMEDA agreed that the first step to correctly identify the current issues of SMEs would be to gauge the exact contribution of SMEs to the economy through a Census of Economic Establishments. Mr. Hashim Raza highlighted that the last Census was conducted in 2005 and most of the data related to the SME sector is dated.
The meeting proved to be extremely fruitful as SMEDA and CERP agreed on sharing a list of common areas of interest to identify opportunities or finding solutions to problems faced by SMEs, and keep exchanging ideas through a possible collaboration in the future.