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SME Support Fund Launed in Pakistan

The SME Business Support Fund (BSF) office has been set up in the provincial capital with a view to enable business development services for small and medium enterprises.

Chairman BSF, Altaf Saleem presided over the inaugural ceremony at the new office here at Siddique Trade Centre, Gulberg on Thursday. The Government of Pakistan has set up a head office for the Rs450 million SME Business Support Fund (BSF), jointly developed by federal government and the Asian Development Bank.

The BSF is a new independent organisation established by the government and funded by Asian Development Bank under SME Sector Development Programme. It is a financial support scheme, established for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to enhance their competitiveness & profitability, through the increased use of business development services (BDS).

With the above business agenda, the BSF provides a 50 per cent grant to SMEs for activities such as short-term consultancies for management, marketing, production, productivity, product development and adaptation, packaging, quality, standards, and technology transfer or up-gradation.

Although the BSF is currently operational, the government will hold its official launch ceremony at Islamabad in a couple of months.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), BSF, David Monkman said that schemes like BSF had proved successful in other parts of the world in enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the SMEs.

Such initiatives in the Far-East, Latin America and Africa have proved successful,” he said.

He was of the opinion that the BSF, a pilot project, would continue providing assistance to the SMEs till June 2009 and could be renewed after that period. He said that the formal launch of the BSF would be held in Islamabad within two years.
sources(The News)

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