Today, Permanent Mission of Pakistan in Vienna, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and Ministry of Commerce Islamabad jointly arranged a webinar on economic future of MSMEs post Covid-19.It was attended by senior officials from UNCITRAL, Ministries of Commerce, Industries and Production, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority and Federal Board of Revenue of Pakistan.
Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokher, in his welcome remarks, thanked Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary of UNCITRAL, for organizing the webinar to share expertise of UNCITRAL with Pakistani experts dealing with MSMEs about the latest developments and legal reforms in the area.He appreciated the work of UNCITRAL for modernization and harmonization of international business and commerce rules to incorporate the latest developments and technological advancements. He said thatMSMEs were back bone of Pakistan’s economy which could play a pivotal role in increasing its exports.
Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary of UNCITRAL, underscored the importance of concrete policies for recovery of MSMEs from Covid-19 pandemic. She said that the international community should adapt to the post pandemic situation, learn from each other and support small businesses to address their challenges. Ms. Caroline Nicholas, Senior Legal Officer, highlighted challenges of micro businesses in the wake of Covid-19 and discussed efforts of UNCITRAL for addressing them. Ms. Monica Canafoglia, Secretary of Working Group I, briefed about various steps for starting a busines and efforts of the Group for facilitation of MSMEs. Ms. Marianela Bruno Pollero, Legal Officer, talked about access to credit, access to commercial and government contract markets and resolving commercial disputes. Mr. Benjamin Herisset, Associate Legal Officer, discussed how to exit a business and simplified insolvency proceedings for SMEs.
Raja Husnain, General Manager of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, briefed the participants about small businesses in Pakistan, their challenges and existing policy support of the government for MSMEs. He also shared salient features of National SME Policy 2020 for providing conducive environment to MSMEs in Pakistan.
Pakistan appreciates the important work of UNCITRAL for improving legal framework for facilitation of international trade. The Mission will continue its engagement with UNCITRAL so that Pakistan can benefit from its expertise.
18th March, 2021