SME export gallery to add export volume

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Amanullah Khan

Karachi—The proposed Export House, initiated by SME sector in collaboration with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan is expected to reinforce the declining exports of the country.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver pointed out that since despite repeated request sent to the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to set up an SME gallery for the sector and although TDAP had prepared draft for SME Export House and also formed a steering committee for the purpose has failed to implement it.
SMEDA must set up the facility as it is empowered to do so in the SMEDA ordinance and also in the SME policy 2007. Thaver invited the attention of CEO SMEDA to the urgent need of the SME Gallery for the online 24/7 exhibition of SME wares on the Internet and the facility of receiving orders and payments online under SMEDA without each SME seller having to open a merchant account on high charges.
Earlier, whenever this demand was raised by the Union of SMEs the objection was raised that it comes under the domain of TDAP but UNISAME legal experts have pointed out that any matter which is a promotional matter for SMEs comes under the ambit of SMEDA and may be developed by the authority by virtue of its articles.
Thaver requested the general manager (GM) Alamgir Chaudhry to set up the SME Gallery on top priority and not to excuse itself of the responsibility on the basis of heirarachy of TDAP.
It is pertinent to note that TDAP collects export development surcharge of 0.25 % on all exports and is duty bound to promote exports of all the big and the small.
While the big exporters are facilitated as delegation participants the SMES are not in a position to take stalls or join in the delegations due to high expenses.
It is therefore required that a permanent online Internet SME Gallery is set up for their products and services by SMEDA and or TDAP and it would be ideal if they co-ordinate.
Thaver said as chairman of capacity building group under the technical committee of National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) he has recommended the SME Gallery and would leave no stone unturned to see its implementation.