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SMEs asked to tap international markets

SMEs asked to tap international markets

FAISALABAD: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of Faisalabad are very vibrant and their products should be introduced in international markets by regularly organising trade fairs in this industrial city, emphasised a top official of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).

“In this connection, a state-of-the-art exhibition centre of the UAF is ready to help existing and prospective exporters,” said UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Zafar during a joint meeting of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Office of Research, Innovation & Commercialisation (Oric).

He asked the FCCI and other business and industrial organisations to take advantage of the modern expo centre and showcase their products there. He found it very encouraging that local industrialists were manufacturing quality products of international standard which were unique because of their quality and price competitiveness.

Responding to a question about setting up a UAF desk at the FCCI, Zafar suggested that instead of the desk, a joint committee should be constituted comprising representatives of both the institutions.

“This committee may hold quarterly meetings to discuss issues of mutual interest,” he said, adding that it would not only help them to get maximum price for their products, but would also facilitate them in contributing to the progress of Faisalabad as well as the overall country.

Saying that the UAF had an edge in making inventions besides developing new and market-driven technologies, he stressed that these could be utilised to improve the quality of industrial products and trimming the cost of production.

“Oric is working for the commercialisation of these inventions and technologies,” he revealed. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has also created the Technology Development Fund to resolve the problems of SMEs. “HEC can dole out Rs12 million for each viable project,” Zafar said while pointing out that the UAF had already completed 12 projects under the fund, but it could be called peanuts for an industrial hub like Faisalabad.

He asked the FCCI to encourage the SMEs to fully avail themselves of the facility and earn respectable profit from their products.

Speaking on the occasion, FCCI President Shabbir Hussain Chawla acknowledged that Pakistan’s universities and research institutions had made laudable inventions, but said the fruits of research had not yet reached the industry.