“Digitalizing and revolutionizing small industries should be new SME Policy: PCJCCI”
Moazzam Ali Ghurki, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) suggested that digitalizing and revolutionizing small industries should be new SME Policy adopted by Pakistan, during a think tank session held at PCJCCI premises yesterday.
President PCJCCI added that it was in domestic markets and small industries that all sorts of innovation and entrepreneurship could take place which later would move out and lead to higher exports and foreign exchange earnings. Moazzam Ali Ghurki, President PCJCCI opined, “The small shopkeeper, the ‘rerhi wala’, the unskilled labourer contains the largest number of small and medium enterprises and if we make this sector boom we will have a more egalitarian development.” He also suggested that trade policy should not only be for promoting exports but for promoting all trade both at home and abroad. “We have to redesign our trade policy, centered to encourage competition, create opportunities and provide an enabling environment for domestic markets to flourish in an innovative and exciting new approach,” he maintained.
He also said that the domestic markets and small industries in Pakistan primarily included retail and wholesale traders, restaurants and hotels, construction, transport storage and communication, financial and real estate and personal services. This was sector where the poor and middle-class were hidden, he said adding “We do not need to reinvent the wheel, it is only through competition with foreign markets and services that our domestic markets will improve and benefit through knowledge spillovers, learning by doing and exposure to new technologies and management systems.
Hamza Khalid, Vice President PCJCCI said that the public and private sector should follow a vibrant vision of transforming Pakistani cities into a dynamic commercial hub of the region- a tourist destination, a shopping centre, regional headquarters for Multinational Corporation etc. “We in Pakistan must encourage fresh thinking and allow technical people into government to make good things happen. He added that when we look at the success stories of international brands and innovative individuals behind them, we see that many have started off from humble beginnings.”
He added that in several East Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and China, spaces were allocated for temporary stalls to be set up resulting in the now famous night markets, and these vibrant markets were one of the biggest tourist attractions in their cities. According to him, entrepreneurs and innovators needed neighbourhood markets to perfect their products, brands and recipes, which they would then export.
While, Moazzam Ghurki highlighted that before policy making, it should be investigated that why locally successful brands had been unable to become well-recognized brands globally. He appreciated Afridi’s idea of more small markets and bazaars for local vendors and traders and said that bazaars not only provide new opportunities and space to set up business for entrepreneurs but also promote local arts and crafts and attract tourists, which generates valuable foreign exchange for the economy.
Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI agreed that the proposed strategy should be focused on improving the quality and quantity of wholesale and retail outlets, ultimately linked to urban management and land use. These policies would definitely transform the current scenario of domestic market with special focus on promoting successful business through encouraging trade, entrepreneurship and innovation and providing fair and efficient markets for the welfare of all Pakistan.