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MGT601 - SME Management - Lecture Handout 45

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The role of government as a facilitator of business and its interaction with business support institutions is imperative for the establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship for the growth of the sector. SME promotion is an important issue for many government departments and central offices. For example, the Ministry of Labour plays an important role in shaping the labour market policy of the state. Similarly, in order to gather information on the health of the SME population the role of Federal Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Finance, and planning division is pivotal. Other ministries and divisions such as Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Science & Technology also influence the situation of our SME. Provincial and local governments also take their share in responsibility.

However, there is an existing lack of coordination and regular information exchange mechanism among institutions, which constrains their collective ability to deliver in the SME development process. As a result of the Government’s recent efforts, two institutions Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) and SME Bank were created.

The responsibility for facilitating SME policy development now lies with SMEDA, which is attached to the Ministry of Industry and Production (MOPI). SMEDA is responsible for creation and coordination of Government policy for the SME sector. Parliament, naturally, is responsible for monitoring policy and its implementation.

One of the major reasons for the lack of coordination is that SMEDA has not been provided with a formal mechanism to initiate, coordinate, monitor and evaluate initiatives undertaken for SME development, which fall outside of its own scope of activities.

Therefore, cross-departmental and stakeholder consultations, resulting in the preparation of our national SME policy are our key to success. Regular information exchange mechanism and networking needs to be developed amongst our public and private sector institutions. There is a strong need to devise such an information exchange mechanism and redefine the role of institutions, specifying their functions in order to avoid duplication of efforts and allowing the best possible usage of resources.

Under the SME Sector Development Program it is expected that SMEDA

MGT601 - SME Management - Lecture Handout 43

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WTO Agreements on TBT and SPS

To meet the requirements of WTO Agreements on Technical Barriers of Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS), Pakistan has taken a number of key initiatives aimed at strengthening technical institutions capabilities in standard setting, compliance.

In Pakistan, ISO9000 – and ISO14000 certification is rising and reportedly now well over 3,000 companies are ISO 9000 certified. as for ISO 14000 certifications, out of a total of 103 countries, Pakistan ranks 56th with only ten ISO 14001 certified firms while India is 19th. All these companies are certified by foreign based bodies. The problem with foreign certification bodies is that notwithstanding the fact that they are accredited by reputable accreditation bodies, very few have been listed for surveillance audits in Pakistan. This greatly reflects on the performance of these certification bodies.

Against this backdrop, Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) was set up in 1998 in Ministry of Science & Technology and in 1999, under ADB-assisted Trade Export Promotion & Industry Program (TEPI). Project, it launched the accreditation services for ISO 9000/ISO 14000 certification bodies and ISO-17025 laboratory certification.

According to Pakistan Country Report on Trade and Sustainable Development, prepared by Sustainable Development Policy Institutes (SDPI), in October 2002, the TBT and SPS agreements present both an opportunity and constraints. The two agreements seek to increase market access for the exports of its member countries. However, the prerequisite is that they abide by the strict rules the WTO has formulated for the development of mandatory technical regulations, voluntary standards and conformity assessment procedures. This is where developing countries like Pakistan come up short. They do not possess the institutional and technical capacity to develop, advocate and formalize such standards in WTO for a, nor the conformity assessment and accreditation bodies to certify that domestic industries are complying with international standards. While the WTO, in principle, offers technical assistance to developing countries to develop these capabilities, the concern expressed by various stakeholders suggest that Pakistan has not tapped into these opportunities.

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