Consultancy services: Dutch experts to assist in reforming SME sector

Lack of access to loans, low profit­abilit­y and high busine­ss cost seen as major hurdle­s

FAISALABAD: Dutch experts will provide free consultancy services to reorganise Punjab’s small and medium enterprises (SME) sector along modern and scientific lines, said Odulfus Van Summeren of PUM Dutch Foundation.

He was speaking at a function at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) attended by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) representatives and office-bearers.

Elaborating on his organisation’s role, Summeren said PUM is a non-profit organisation consisting of 3,000 experts from 70 different disciplines, who provide advice to SME sectors in various countries free of charge.

Stating that Pakistan was the 70th country targeted by PUM, Summeren said he would hold consultations with SME sector representatives in the country to identify problems and suggest remedial steps.

After compiling a comprehensive report, PUM would be recommended to send experts from related disciplines for advice on policy and financial issues.

He identified lack of access to financial resources, low profitability and productivity and high cost of doing business as main impediments to growth of the SME sector in Pakistan.

FCCI Acting President Rana Sikandar-e-Azam highlighted that Faisalabad was the third major player of national economy.

“No doubt it is the textile hub of Pakistan, but its main strength is the SME sector, which is growing at a much faster pace,” he said.

Appreciating PUM’s offer of assisting local businesses, Azam said disciplines other than textile, hosiery and knitwear should also be included in the programme.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2017.

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