Funds should be made available for SMEs in the country: Muneer Kamal

KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Muneer Kamal feels that adequate funds should be made available for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) so that they could flourish.

“Our neighbours have a separate ministry for SMEs. SMEs will not flourish unless adequate funding was made available for them,” said Kamal, who is also former Chairman NBP, during ‘Reshaping the Future, Building Greater Pakistan’ at the UMA-16th CEO Summit Asia 2017, held here at a local hotel on Monday.

Hundreds of leading CEOs and executives representing their companies attended the summit where Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair was the chief guest.

The Sindh Governor spoke about the various challenges facing Pakistan and stressed that free and fair elections are the way forward for the country.

Earlier, Sohail Shams, CEO of United Marine Agencies (UMA), in his opening speech underlined the importance of positive change saying that Pakistan needs it to tackle the various challenges and issues confronting it.

Sohail Shams hoped that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help boost Pakistan’s economy.

“CPEC is a beacon of hope for the entire region and in future will usher in a period of peace, development and growth of the economy. Economic growth will be supported by progress on CPEC energy projects and improved domestic business sentiment,” he said.

“Pakistan should continue to maintain liberal policies towards foreign investment.”

Habib Metropolitan Bank President and CEO Sirajuddin Aziz, in his speech, stressed that we should learn from the examples set by our founding fathers especially the Quaid-e-Azam and strive for the progress of Pakistan.

Mitsubishi Corporation Senior Vice President and Mitsubishi Pakistan CEO Kimihide Ando spoke about the resilience of Pakistan appreciating the country’s fighting spirit in the face of adversity.

Meezan Bank President and CEO Irfan Siddiqui gave a presentation on Islamic banking and its growth in Pakistan.

JS Global Capital Ltd CEO Kamran Nasir said that Pakistan only has 2 per cent skilled labour in its labour force, which is a huge weakness. Pakistan also needs to bring its informal sector into the financial circle.

Meanwhile, Akhuwat Founder and Chairman Dr Amjad Saqib said that increasing GDP was nothing but a mirage if it was not equitably distributed.

He said that Akhuwat has been using places of worships, like a mosque. It has more than 700 branches in 350 cities of the country to conduct its operations of distributing ‘Karz-e-Hasna’ – interest-free loans.

U Microfinance Bank Ltd COO Kabir Naqvi said that 85 per cent of the people of the country were financially excluded.

“Microfinance borrowers have increased to 5.2 million from 3.6 million in 12 years. There are only 16500 bank branches in the country,” he said.

He added that there were 30 million people, who were using banking services while 120 million users of telecom. Despite this, there were only 15 million people with mobile wallet users and out of it, only 10 million were active. He said that there should be more coagulation between banking and telecom integration for users as other countries have done.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Vice Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini, Ikram Sehgal, Aamir Niazi, CEO Descon Oxychem Ltd, etc.

The UMA-16th CEO Summit was held as a tribute to the CEOs, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, Policy Makers, Economic Managers, and Difference Makers in appreciation and recognition of their tireless efforts, commitment and contribution to the economy of Pakistan in testing times.

The Sindh Governor gave away Leadership Awards to the top-performing CEOs and graced the launch ceremony of 100 Performing CEOs and Companies of Pakistan.

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