What the people of these areas needed much is intervention from government or donor that helps them to develop their capacity and gain regulatory cover for smooth engagement in economic activities.
Furqan Hyder Shaikh
Rural areas of Pakistan particularly in Sindh and Baluchistan have a potential visibility of innovative small-scale business, novel-approach productive ideas, and economic opportunities. But what people of these areas needed much is a kind of intervention from government or donor that helps them to develop their capacity and gain regulatory cover for smooth engagement in economic activities, personal development, inclusive opportunities & growth, and entrepreneurship development leading to employment generation.
Historically, Pakistan has different partners which came forward to reduce the magnitude of hard times including trading partners like the European Union (EU). The EU has been supporting Pakistan for integration into the world economy and its sustainable economic development, namely by granting it preferential access to the European single market under the GSP+ system since 2014. Under this scheme almost 80% of Pakistan’s exports enter the EU duty and quota free. In 2018, Pakistani exports to the EU were worth €6.9 billion.
In the same connection, the Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) project is a partner-supporting intervention funded by EU and implemented by International Trade Centre in Pakistan through different partners having designated implementation components, and Small & Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), Ministry of Industries and Production, Pakistan is one of the partners in the GRASP.
Technically, GRASP aims to reduce poverty in Pakistan by strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small-scale agribusinesses in the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan. GRASP is aimed at helping SMEs in the sectors of horticulture and livestock to become more competitive, inclusive, and climate resilient by making improvements at all levels of the value chain.
However, SMEDA is partnered to facilitate SMEs in Sindh and Baluchistan in the areas of horticulture and livestock through implementing domestic commerce and regulatory policies reviewed and made conducive for rural SME competitiveness, developing rural SMEs sustainability strategies, build capacity of current and entrant entrepreneurship human force leaders, enhance SMEs, and bringing the SMEs in the mainstream national business community after having registered them in national business regulatory institutions; giving them constitutional cover to freely operate in the trade and commerce climate and enjoy the longstanding benefits.
One can easily evaluate the degree of improved and sustained growth for rural advancement and sustainable progress in Sindh and Baluchistan when the trained inclusive business leaders seen engaged in improved economic activities, growing their business, and contributing to national development through viable product, employment creation, and strengthening inclusive and climate resilient Pakistan.
The writer is a SME development expert and trainer. He can be reached at email@example.com, Tweet: @furqanppolicy