Small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit greatly from CPEC


China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can significantly benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are essential to economic empowerment, reported media. 

In developing countries, the SME sector has a crucial role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 by generating job opportunities, eliminating poverty, encouraging innovation and developing sustainable industrialization, and reducing income inequalities. 

In this regard, Dr. Liaquat Ali Shah, Executive Director and Head of Policy Division at CPEC Authority, told the media that CPEC provides enormous opportunities for SMEs to flourish. 

“The second phase of CPEC has been smoothly initiated. In Pakistan, the SMEs growth has been slow for which CPEC can act as a remedy and way forward for the economic revival. Investment prospects are highly favorable for the local and international SMEs in the country,” he remarked. 

Read more: Pakistan and China gear up for agricultural cooperation under CPEC

Dr. Liaquat added that the export growth of Pakistan to China and the rest of the world is very low. “Pakistan has an opportunity to access the international markets by utilizing the Chinese expertise through CPEC and cash in on opportunities in supply chain management, agriculture, livestock, minerals, food processing, surgical instruments, construction, and ICT, where joint ventures are highly supportive for local SMEs,” he maintained. 

He recommended that special attention should be given to SME development for creating employment opportunities and increasing GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the country. “Technical training for employees is required to improve skills, raise production, and prepare them for the upcoming opportunities from CPEC. It is imperative that the government resolve the infrastructure and regulatory issues in order for the SME sector to grow rapidly. SMEs need policies that empower them and allow them to reach their full potential,” he stated. 

Moreover, LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir said that there is a golden opportunity to engage Chinese and other foreign companies with local firms to transfer knowledge and technology, especially in the industrial and agro-processing sectors. 

Nauman Kabir added that export-led growth holds the key to sustainable economic development. “Our products and services must meet global standards. Despite the fact that we cannot generate good revenue by exporting raw materials and semi-finished goods, we have to go for value addition to all sectors of the economy. The government needs to take proactive measures to boost exports,” the LCCI President stated. 

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