Netherlands offer 60 per cent fund to Pakistan for SMEs projects.
LAHORE, October 08, 2010 (Frontier Star): The Netherlands has offered up to 60 per cent of funding to Pakistani projects (SMEs) having a maximum cost of 1.5 million Euros. According to a press release ,The offer was renewed by Mr Ahmad Dodou, head of Economic Affairs of Embassy of the Netherlands and Mr Paul Schoenmakers while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of commerce and Industry. LCCI Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad, former President Shahid Hassan Sheikh, former Senior Vice President Sohail Lashari also spoke on the occasion. The officials informed the LCCI office-bearers that the Private Sector Investment (PSI) program of the Netherlands government, open in Pakistan since 2005 with an annual budget of 70 million Euros, is aimed at alleviating poverty and strengthening private sector investment. They said that the funding, available under 40-60 arrangement, is subject to certain evaluation to be conducted by the Holland government officials. An obligatory format for the project proposal can be downloaded from www.agentschapnl.nl/psi. Any Pakistan company can apply for the funding for any new project or for the value addition of an existing business project. Under this program, one project in Sports wear in Pakistan has already been completed; three projects in Chemical Industry and Dairy sector are in progress while another three are under consideration. The total funding of 1.5 million euros allows spending on Hardware (equipment, machinery), Training of people and Project management. Real estate and operational costs excluded. The funds are released during the project, after achieving predefined results. The Evaluation criteria include Partner Expertise, organizational capacity and financial strength. The projects could be a business plan, operational plan or financial feasibility. Fulfilment of Corporate Social Responsibility, knowledge transfer and its spin off effects are few things that are a necessary part of evaluation criteria. The Netherlands issues three tenders per year. Meanwhile, the Holland has also offered match-making facility to stimulate private sector in Pakistan and to avail the opportunity the interested companies may download intake form at:www.netherlandsembassy.org.pk Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad expressed his concern over volume of trade between the two countries. He said that the two-way trade volume could have much bigger provided a little attention was paid by the concerned departments in the two countries. He stressed the need for participation in trade fairs and establishment of direct link between various representative organizations like chambers of commerce. The LCCI Senior Vice President called for a mechanism for the dissemination of all trade-related information that is a prerequisite to initiate joint ventures or to do business. He said that in this respect, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry was ready to extend every cooperation. The LCCI former President Shahid Hassan Sheikh & former Senior Vice President Sohail Lashari said that Pakistan and Netherlands have always maintained good diplomatic and trade relationship. They said that Dutch assistance in terms of financial technical, educational and advisory support to Pakistan has always been worth mentioning and appreciating. In the European Union, the Netherlands is one of Pakistan's most important export destinations after the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. They said that analysis of trade figures between the two countries indicate that the total trade had declined from US$ 966 million in 2008-09 to US$ 742 million in 2009-10. Moreover, Pakistan's exports to Netherlands decreased from US$ 468 million in 2008-09 to US$ 389 million in 2009-10. On the other hand, they said, during these years, Netherlands's exports to Pakistan had also fallen from US$ 498 million dollars to US$ 353 million. They said that joint efforts are needed to cease this trend from going further down. Moreover, the percentage share of Netherlands in Pakistan's total exports has been ranging from 2.6% to 2.7% which can be increased by taking some sector-specific measures. Pakistan's main export products to the Netherlands are knitwear, articles of apparel, readymade garments, sugar & sugar confectionery, cotton, leather manufacturers, leather clothing, leather gloves, sport goods, pharmaceutical products, fruits and vegetables etc. Whereas Netherlands exports to Pakistan include: cereals, electrical, electronic equipment, machinery, iron & steel, plastic and articles, chemical products etc.
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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|Publication:||The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)|
|Date:||Oct 8, 2010|
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