ISLAMABAD: Iftikhar Ali Malik, president of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC-CCI), has said that a strong private sector can help Pakistan realise its economic potential.
Malik said this while talking to a 10-member woman traders’ delegation, led by Ayesha Shafique, according to a statement issued on Sunday.
Malik said that only the private sector can play a key role in pushing economic growth upward, generating job opportunities, providing oxygen to domestic industry, besides boosting exports in addition to promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). National expert on SME and founder Secretary General SAARC Chamber Rehmat Ullah Javed was also present and shared his expertise based on his life long experience.
Malik said Pakistan has tremendous untapped economic potential that needs to be fully exploited through prudent key policy actions to help create new marketing opportunities, mobilize private investments to create more jobs and help the country in coping with the impact of Covid-19 on its economy.
He stressed the urgent need for reforms in the wake of pandemic impact on the country’s private sector especially on SMEs that drive so much of Pakistan’s economy. He said Pakistan could foster a more innovative, competitive and entrepreneurial economy and reinvigorate growth by addressing critical constraints that were limiting private sector investment.
He said a private sector led growth agenda needed to be equitable and benefit Pakistan’s many SMEs and also offer jobs and opportunities for the more than two million young who join the labour force each year. He said to improve the national economy on the pattern of advanced and developed countries, women participation was essential in every sphere of life who constitute more than 52 percent of total population.
He said forthcoming SME policy must focus on productivity enhancement and competitiveness of products by SMEs in local and global markets to achieve sustainable development in the country.
Malik said that the proposed SME policy also must outline a package of incentives for women oriented business thus reducing gender gap in financial inclusion and mainstreaming the role of women in the economy.