Pak role in promotion of SMEs in Afghanistan | By Asmat Shah Garwaki


Pak role in promotion of SMEs in Afghanistan

PAKISTAN is playing effective role in promotion of businesses, SMEs in Afghanistan; realizing its role in development of war torn neighbouring country.

Pakistan is playing an effective role in creation of business activities in Afghanistan by taking measures to ascend bilateral trade volume besides promotion of SMEs in the region.

Zia ul Haq Sarhadi who is the Vice President of Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) is of the view that the situation in Afghanistan was severe for many even before the Taliban takeover, with a long-running drought and entrenched poverty and after change of government in mid August 2021, situation became more complex and complicated.

The role played by Pakistan in continuing of trade despite a lot of hardships not only helped its own businessmen dealing in Pak-Afghan trade but also encouraged Afghan traders who got a respite from emerging scenario of restriction on commerce and trade.

The business community experts think Pak-Afghan trade after the Taliban take over opened up ways for SMEs sector in both the countries to emerge and survive despite sanctions from international community.

The decision taken by Pakistan government after US sanctions of allowing trade with Afghanistan on Pak Rupee not only helped in continuity of trade but also in protecting livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in the region.

The decision of US government of allowing trade with Afghanistan despite Taliban sanctions and everyone endorsed this announcement and appreciated this step of US government.

The Afghanistan government should take benefit of this decision and it should start different mega projects as well as to promote its Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as SMEs make up about 80 percent of Afghan businesses.

The business community leader Sarhadi also disclosed that during a recent visit of PAJCCI members to Gawadar port city, Pakistan government decided to allow use of Gawadar port for shipment of Afghan Transit Trade goods.

This is a very welcoming decision and will help in increasing trade between the two countries which has shown a sharp decline during the last couple of years.

A research scholar on Pak-Afghan trade think that Afghanistan’s turn to market economy after the US invasion in 2001, the private sector, 85 percent of it made up of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Afghanistan’s trade, though still limited to traditional items, has seen sound growth in the past decade, but the trade deficit remains large.

In 2002, Afghanistan exports were estimated at about $100 million. In 2012, registered exports rose to $470 million.

Afghanistan is a war torn country and stands out in a sharp need of development and infrastructure development.

Business opportunities should be created all over the country. The business opportunities will ultimately lead to job creation and prosperity of the nation stated a research article of Mujib, a research scholar.

The research show that around 89 percent of the SMEs in Afghanistan need finance for their businesses and financing is critical or very important for their businesses.

A country can develop when its neighbour country also show development and build industries.

Pakistan always support Afghanistan and want to improve SMEs in Afghanistan as the neighbouring country have full potential of SMEs and its citizens have creative mind and setup.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is a premier SME Federal Development Authority of Pakistan.

With years long experience, SMEDA has the potential to help the SMEs of Afghanistan in several ways.

It can play a pivotal role by offering multiple dynamic services to the SMEs of Afghanistan.

—The writer is Reporter/Sub-Editor, at Associated Press of Pakistan, Peshawar Bureau.


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