President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain on Saturday said government should plan cottage industrial zones along CPEC to improve productivity, exports and employment.
Steps from promotion of SMEs and cottage industry can reduce poverty and bailout country from the economic problems, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that majority of the population comprise of women therefore they should be included in the national mainstream to ensure rapid progress.
Cottage industry, small traders and women entrepreneurs should be given more attention to ensure rapid development, he said adding that cottage industrial zones must be established across the country and along CPEC.
He informed that that over ninety six percent businesses fall in the category of cottage industry and small businesses but this sector is neglected which is not in line with the national economic interests.
How Pakistan can become a successful economic model when cottage industry, small traders and women feel side-lined, he said, adding that government should revisit some policies governing these sectors.
There are 1.5 billion poor in Asia of which 660 million are very poor while the majority of world’s poor lives in Saarc region that can be lifted out of poverty by policy intervention which is being awaited since long.
He said that reasons behind rampant poverty among women is unfriendly attitude of policymakers, gender inequality, lack of education, absence of required skills and credit facilities, cultural constraints and apathy towards the critically important SMEs sector.
The business leader asked the government to focus on health, education, technical skills, infrastructure development, and facilitate cross-border trade to ensure additional benefits worth billions of dollars that can ensure economic progress and peace.