By Faiza Tehseen
Islamabad, Jan. 19 (INP-WealthPK) The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is a business strategy advisory body of government in Pakistan that not only provides business agendas for Pakistani people, but also helps overseas people to establish their businesses in Pakistan.
SMEDA envisions the growth of SME sector in Pakistan to reach international levels and quality and has published a special literature named “D-5 Business start-up for overseas, for SMEs” which is a detailed description of business strategies, plans, marketing and Pakistani market potential.
The Authority has launched many sessions and workshops to train people in business start-ups and to provide small business grants and loans as well. After the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, a great number of Pakistani returnees needed such an institution that may guide and support them to make a fresh start. Keeping this factor in view, SMEDA has arranged special desks with dedicated staff to guide and support such persons. These special desks also help foreigners interested in making investments or developing their business in Pakistan.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in Pakistan’s economy, which collectively contribute an estimated 40% to GDP and over 40% to exports. However, there is still room for enhanced contribution in most of the capital and consumer goods and services sectors.
To better serve overseas Pakistanis and foreigners, SMEDA has activated special desks at all of its centres with special attendants.
Raja Hasnain Javed, General Manager of the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority, told INP-News that “SMEDA is at its best to serve SMEs, overseas Pakistanis and foreign investors. The check and balance system of SMEDA is outstanding to monitor and follow up. He said SMEDA was offering non-pay back small grant worth PKR25,000 to all Pakistani SMEs. Maximum grant of PKR500,000 is also a part of SMEDA’s policy to support small business owners whether they are existing or new ones. To serve returning overseas and foreign businessmen/investors, SMEDA’s special desk services are second to none.
He also shared that another step of SMEDA was the issuance of PKR25,000 grant for registration of business with any related government institution and the said amount issued for such purpose was not returnable. The SMEDA system is too smart to check any dodging activity concerning the misuse of grants,” he said.
External Relations Officer Arsalan discussed with INP-News Agency in detail about the services offered by SMEDA for overseas Pakistanis and foreigners. He said SMEDA was the best platform for business assistance for Pakistani people whether they lived in Pakistan or overseas, but there was a pressing need to make people aware of the existence of such an institution so that a good number of people may benefit from it. He also emphasized positive steps concerning the awareness of common people to benefit from such official platforms”.
Asghar, regional business coordinator of Rawalpindi, shared with INP-News the response of overseas returnees. He said, “Most of those people from overseas who left or were deprived of their jobs due to the pandemic and now wanted to make a new start in their homeland show a great interest in SMEDA plans. They are mostly skilled or educated ones. They attend entrepreneurship and other training workshops and apply them practically to make a new start”.
It is the need of the hour that the Government of Pakistan enhances the circle of SMEDA to benefit and support a good number of people. Already, a good number of people are drawing benefits and still a large number of people are in need of motivation, training and support for a sustainable livelihood.