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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

CPEC offers opportunities of growth for SMEs
By: Asif Javed
CPEC offers enormous opportunities to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to flourish. The SME sector contributes significantly towards the economic growth of Pakistan by providing employment, assisting large industries and developing technological innovation. They also reduce the poverty level by providing employment to millions of workers.
However, the SME sector is facing acute challenges and without addressing them, we cannot expect it to flourish. Cost of doing business has increased due to the abundance of taxes and regulatory burdens. Pakistan ranked 141 out of 190 countries in terms of starting a business in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking of 2016. This demonstrates that the regulatory process needs to be simplified so that new businesses can enter the market. There also exist structural weaknesses, use of outdated technology and a lack of access to credit which makes SMEs of Pakistan uncompetitive at the international level.
According to International Trade Centre, Pakistan’s export growth to China is less than the imports’ growth of China from the rest of the world. This means that there is room for Pakistan to tap the markets. Services like transport, telecommunications, travel and financial are among top service exports of Pakistan. By paying attention to the SME sector, Pakistan can earn export revenue in these sectors which will also address the balance-of-payments crisis of the country.
Entrepreneurship has helped in flourishing the SME sector and several new initiatives are visible in the country, such as the Higher Education Commission’s initiated policy to establish incubation centres in public universities. However, the effort must be backed with updated curriculum and resources for the centres. Universities can play an important role by providing feasible environment to students through mentorship and effective curriculum. More organisations like P@SHA are required, which gives guidelines to youth regarding entrepreneurship in technology sector.
Pakistan can learn from the experiences of Japan where large corporations like Toyota and Honda started as small factories. With effective government policies, these companies turned into giant corporations. The SMEs support centres, local policy on SMEs, credit guarantees and SMEs universities are some of the factors that play essential role in the development of the sector. Policies on providing internships to new graduates and assisting SMEs in finding new workers can also be fruitful. Pakistan should also focus on sectors, such as, technology and sports which have enormous growth potential.
Joint ventures with Chinese companies can also play a significant role in developing SMEs through provision of technology. Supply chain management, agriculture and livestock, minerals, food processing, surgical instruments, construction, ICT, are some of the key businesses where joint ventures are highly supportive for local SMEs in the backdrop of CPEC. Linking the SME sector with academia for research can also provide key insights into the sector. Technical training for workers is necessary to boost skills, increase productivity and make them compatible with the emerging opportunities from CPEC. The government needs to address the regulatory and infrastructure issues so that the SME sector can thrive at a swift rate.
The SME policy was formulated 10 years ago. Many developments have taken place since then which needs to be catered in the policy. The government is now in the process of making a new SME policy which is a positive step. However, it is required that all the existing developments must be incorporated into the policy along with keeping in mind the future needs and requirements that are developing in the context of CPEC. The SME sector is imperative to provide employment to millions of workers and by developing it further, it can help in resolving the unemployment crisis. Not only can the youth get job opportunities, the problem of inequality can also be resolved once economic prospects are available to the majority of the population.
 
Source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1579442/1-cpec-offers-opportunities-growth-smes/ 

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.