Mr. Esam Alqarara (UNIDO Representative in Pakistan), Mr. Shahzad Alam (Chairman PCSIR) Dr. Sakhawat Ali (DG PCSIR Lahore), Mr. Badar ul Islam (OiC, TRTA II), Mr. Rahmatullah Javed (Chairman National SMEs Committee FPCCI), Mr. Azhar Aslam (CEO Bless Engineering Gujranwala), and a number of representatives from public and private institutions along with successful candidates in the certified market driven training courses participated in the Certificates Distribution Ceremony, Certified Trainings of Consultants and Responsible Personnel of Enterprises of Selected Sectors held on Friday 29th April, 2016 at PCSIR Labs. Complex Lahore. This intervention has been carried out under the EU funded TRTA II Programme implemented by UNIDO.
Mr. Esam Alqararah emphasized on the importance of certifications and said that the compliance portfolio of an organization necessarily deals in mitigating the risks it could face in the local and global markets. For example if the compliance enforcement is stringent in a country of export and the supplier is lacking in a certain Non-Tariff Barrier (NTB) it would risk the business loss in that particular country. In a number of examples it has been witnessed that the Pakistani manufacturers have not been able to export their products directly and have to rely on middle men due to lack of required certifications. As a result they lose the negotiation power and have to content with the withered profit margins.
He further elaborated that keeping in view the importance of compliance and to deal with the issues of availability of consultancy services for export sectors of Pakistan a study on “Assessment and Analysis of Certification Requirements in selected export sectors of Pakistan” was conducted by TRTA II Programme. Subsequently, UNIDO led TRTA-II Programme in collaboration with PCSIR and Bureau Veritas Certifications (BVC), has carried out the intervention “Certified Trainings of Consultants and Responsible Personnel of Enterprises of Selected Sectors” to overcome the existing gap of supply and demand related to the selected certifications. Over 170 personnel have participated in the 10 demand driven internationally approved certified training courses, around 130 participants have qualified.
Chairman PCSIR, Mr. Shahzad Alam, said that achieving these certifications has two major constraints. First, cost of certification puts considerable financial demands on small and medium exporters who, in addition to paying the cost of acquiring the certification, are required to upgrade the supply chains, infrastructure, and equipment to meet the requirements specified in the standard. Second, access to technical expertise on how to go about achieving some certification poses a significant problem due to a lack of adequately qualified consultants for those certifications.
Regarding sustainability of this intervention he told the audience that building on this intervention of TRTA II Programme, PCSIR through MoST has developed and submitted a PSDP project worth PKR 745 Million, namely, “Certification Incentive Programme for SMEs”. This PC-1 has been approved by planning commission, GoP. The objectives of this programme are to guide and support 2025 SMEs on a number of certifications mainly identified in the TRTA II Programme. This initiative by PCSIR under MoST will enhance awareness among the SMEs on global compliance and will be improving international competitiveness of Pakistani entrepreneurs. The consultants trained under TRTA II programme will be playing a vital role in preparing the organizations for certifications required to export their products.
The chief guest Mr. Esam Alqararah and other guests distributed the certificates of achievement among the successful candidates and desired these candidates to play their vital role in bringing about the envisaged change leading to enhanced export regime for the Pakistani products and services in the global market.