Trade: (Promoting SMEs to combat terrorism: UIG)

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the United International Group (UIG) Mian Shahid said on Sunday that Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are best tool to increase exports and revenue.

SMEs should be promoted so that it can absorb increasing number of unemployed people which will help combat extremism and terrorism, he said.

He said over 96 percent businesses fall under the category of SMEs therefore this sector deserves an independent ministry otherwise government should increase allocation for SMEDA which is doing a good job in its meagre resources.

Mian Shahid said that development of SME sector is linked to the security situation which continue to drag economy down since long. He said that percentage of businesses not falling under SME sector are joust about four percent which include large scale manufacturing that cannot survive without SMEs.

Government and the central bank is paying attention to four percent businesses but the sector having 96 percent share deserves more. SME sector continue to struggle for energy, skilled manpower, energy, value addition and training which cost of energy is casting a shadow over it, he said.

Lauding the role of State Bank of Pakistan, he said that commercial banks should not ignore this critical sector which is backbone of the economy.

He said government can consider designing a comprehensive support system and establish separate industrial estates for this sector which was playing a vital role for economic security with 30 per cent share in GDP.