PCJCCI for digitalising, revolutionising small industries

LAHORE, July 10 (APP): Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (PCJCCI) founder President Shah Faisal Afridi on Monday
suggested that digitalising and revolutionising small industries
should be the new SME policy, adopted by Pakistan.
In a meeting with PCJCCI President Wang Zihai and Vice President
Moazzam Ghurki here, he said that it was in domestic markets and small industries that
all sorts of innovation and entrepreneurship could take place which later would move out
and lead to higher exports and foreign exchange earnings.
Afridi opined, “The small shopkeepers, pushcart owners, unskilled
labourers make the largest number of small and medium enterprises. If
we make this sector boom, we will have a more egalitarian development.”
He also suggested that trade policy should not only be for promoting
exports but for promoting all trade both at home and abroad.
“We have to redesign our trade policy, centered to encourage
competition, create opportunities and provide an enabling environment
for domestic markets to flourish in an innovative and exciting new approach,” he added.
The PCJCCI founder president said the domestic markets and small
industries in Pakistan primarily included retail and wholesale traders, restaurants and
hotels, construction, transport storage and communication, financial and real estate and
personal services.
He said this was the sector where the poor and middle class were
hidden, and “we do not need to reinvent the wheel; it is only through competition with
foreign markets and services that our domestic markets
will improve and benefit through knowledge spillovers, learning by doing
and exposure to new technologies and management systems”.
He advised the public and private sectors to follow a vibrant vision
of transforming Pakistani cities into dynamic commercial hubs in the
region – a tourist destination, a shopping centre, regional headquarters
for multinational corporation etc.
“We in Pakistan must encourage fresh thinking and allow technical
people into government to make good things happen,” he asserted.
On the occasion, Wang Zihai said, “When we look at the success
stories of international brands and innovative individuals behind them,
we see that many have started off from humble beginnings.”
He added that in several East Asian countries including Malaysia,
Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and China, spaces were allocated for temporary stalls to
be set up resulting in the now famous night markets,
and these vibrant markets were one of the biggest tourist attractions in their cities.
Moazzam Ghurki said that before making a policy, it should be
investigated that why locally successful brands had been unable to
become well-recognised brands globally.
He appreciated Afridi’s idea of more small markets and bazaars for
local vendors and traders and said that bazaars not only provide new opportunities and
space to set up business for entrepreneurs but also promote local arts and crafts and
attract tourists, which generates
valuable foreign exchange for the economy.
It was jointly agreed that the proposed strategy should be focused on
improving the quality and quantity of wholesale and retail outlets, ultimately linked to
urban management and land use. These policies would definitely transform the current
scenario of domestic market with special focus on promoting successful business
through encouraging trade, entrepreneurship and innovation and providing fair and
markets for the welfare of all Pakistan.