RAWALPINDI: In Pakistan, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) collectively contribute an estimated 40pc to the gross domestic product (GDP); in order to promote them, financial institutions should allocate maximum funds so that the local industry flourishes.
These views were expressed by speakers at the Financial Instrument Exchange (FinEx) Conference held at a local hotel in Rawalpindi. The conference was jointly organised by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) and Fair Finance Pakistan, attended by representatives of State Bank of Pakistan, National Bank, First Women Bank and leading commercial banks and institutes.
Speakers urged SBP to introduce compliance on green banking guidelines for public and private commercial banks to promote a green revolution in the country.
In his address, RCCI President Nasir Mirza said that the main objective of the conference was to strengthen networking between the financial sector, corporate world and decision makers, and experts from different walks of life and the community associated with them.
He said loans should be provided to skilled women and entrepreneurs and minimum documentation should be kept.
Bernadette Victorio, Fair Finance Asia representative, addressing the conference via video link said that Pakistan is an important country for energy transition in Asia and highlighted the need to divert resources towards renewable energy.
Mr Shahid Raza Bhatti said that the aim of the conference was to strengthen multi-stakeholders’ dialogue and action on sustainable finance in Pakistan.
The conference featured a panel discussion with banking sector experts on consumer financing and responsible banking. Representatives from the sector shared current policies involving integration of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) guidelines in their operations at the strategic, portfolio and transaction level.
An SBP representative highlighted the importance of integrating green banking guidelines to foster a culture of responsibility in the banking sector.
Asim Jaffry, programme lead, Fair Finance Pakistan said the regulator must shift voluntary reporting towards compliance for listed and non-listed companies.
A joint declaration was also presented at the conference, that puts forward recommendations to the prime minister, finance minister, SBP governor and chairperson of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to play a more pro-active role towards ensuring inclusive financing, especially for women.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2021