ISLAMABAD (INP): Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Sunday said small and medium enterprises deserve special attention which has potential to develop economy with less investment. SME is very important sector facing issues like branding, access to the markets, e-commerce, online trading, research and financing which should be tackled at the earliest. He said that there are 3.2m registered SMEs in Pakistan with 40pc share in GDP and 46.5pc share in exports while countless are unregistered.

Among the registered SMEs, 65 percent are in Punjab, 18 percent are in Sindh, 14 percent are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 2 percent are operating in Balochistan.

Despite eight times lesser investment in SME promotion as compare to India, the SME sector is growing at a rate of eight percent which is double than the large industries.

He noted that banks are not taking interest in advancing loans to this sector while lack of banking courts and delayed verdicts has discouraged SMEs and banks alike.

In developed nations SMEs conduct 9 percent of business through internet, in ASEAN countries it is at 1 percent while in Pakistan it is below one percent calling for policy intervention by the government.