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ICCI for building institutional capacity of SMEDA to understand service needs of SMEs January 08, 2013
Meeting at ICCI
A meeting of USAID Firms Project experts and SMEDA consultants was held at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) for organizational assessment of SMEDA.

SMEDA in active collaboration with USAID has initiated a program for building its institutional capacity and realign its services to become demand responsive to SME needs. This exercise would include a detailed review of SMEDA’s mandate, governance structure, SME Policy 2007 (SME Bill), SMEDA’s strategic thrust, funding sources, service menu and service delivery/outreach mechanism.
Dr.Ernest Koch and Mr.Adeel Faheem, USAID FIRMS Project Consultants said that USAID through its Firms project has engaged a team of international and local experts to conduct the organizational assessment of SMEDA to understand the service needs of SMEs.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Mehmood Ahmed Waraich, Senior Vice President ICCI said that the definition of SMEs has not yet been standardized in Pakistan as different organizations working in this sector continue to use different definitions. He said that SME sector in Pakistan had not been able to realize its full potential due to lack of its proper action plan implementation.
SME policy was mainly focusing on the development of industrial and manufacturing sector of the country, therefore, ICCI office bearers also proposed that SME policy should also focus on service sector development as services sector contribution to GDP has significantly increased up to 54.4 percent in FY2011-12.
Senior Vice President ICCI was of the view that State Bank of Pakistan should ensure suitable credit guarantee exchange for SME sector so that they could effectively contribute in desired growth of the economy. SMEDA should also lunch an online video channel for awareness on SME development which displays all its awareness programs that explains the framework, governance structure and legislative reforms of SME Sector.
ICCI office bearers also proposed that concerns of private sector representatives must be included for an updated and revised SME Policy, adding that Chambers of Commerce should be given financial assistance for establishing business incubation centers which would definitely facilities SMEs to increase their productivity.
Mr.Mehmood Ahmed Waraich, Senior Vice President ICCI said that SMEs Model of successful countries should be studied for fostering the output of this sector, adding that unnecessary regulatory barriers should also be removed for SMEs to give SMEs a bit more breathing space to grow and prosper.

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