PESHAWAR: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) will formally launch the Economic Cooperation and Development Forum (ECDF) in the newly merged tribal districts on August 29.

Special Assistant to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Industries and Commerce Abdul Karim Khan will be the chief guest at the launching ceremony of the new program. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) SMEDA Fuad Hasham Rabbani, General Manager Outreach Javed Iqbal Khattak, Provincial Chief Rashid Aman, presidents of various chambers of commerce and experts from the private sector will also participate in the event.

The aims of the forum is to facilitate collaboration and partnership between different institutions and to reflect on ways to enhance the investment of private sector companies (businesses and financial institutions) into the tribal districts.

The forum will provide a platform to explore avenues to facilitate the private sector investment leading to sustainable economic growth in these areas.

It will comprise of 40 experts on economic development and private sector investment, including representatives from the government, business community, banks and micro-finance institutions, think-tanks, policymakers, academia as well as development partners.

SMEDA, premier institution of the Government of Pakistan under Ministry of Industries and Production, looks after Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan. With a futuristic approach and professional management structure it has focus on providing an enabling environment and business development services to small and medium enterprises. SMEDA is not only an SME policy-advisory body for the government of Pakistan but also facilitates other stakeholders in addressing their SME development agendas.

It works for growth of globally competitive SME sector, through a conducive environment and support services, serving as an engine of sustainable growth for national economy.

SMEDA works to assist in employment generation and value addition to the national income, through development of the SME sector, by helping increase the number, scale and competitiveness of SMEs.

Last month, SMEDA announced to set up 1000 industrial stitching units under different phases of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) while it will establish 150 stitching units during next three years in the first phase of the PSDP.

The Ministry of Commerce and Textile and SMEDA have inked an agreement for establishing industrial stitching units.

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