Munir Gul, Project Director PMU-ERKF
Munir Gul, Project Director PMU-ERKF
I feel immensely pleased and honoured to share the accomplishments in trade, industry, and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) realized in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), with the support of Multi- Donor Trust funded project- “The Economic Revitalization in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (ERKF).” It forms a key part of the Government of Pakistan’s overall vision for strong and sustainable economic growth and to off-set the adverse effects of crises caused by militancy and natural disaster/floods. ERKF project is a shining example of the power of collaboration. We have consulted with our stakeholders at every step, and put their respective expertise to good use on a joint platform whilst deepening interaction and understanding of the existing diversity in the areas of SME’s development, Institution Capacity Building and Competitive Sector Development. As a cornerstone, it will play a critical role in transforming the region into a thriving hub for industry as well as contributing to the economic prosperity of the wider country.
Since the onset of the ERKF project in 2013, it has delivered a series of important outputs in the ongoing reform process. For us, supporting the SME sector itself is pivotal for boosting the domestic economy and serving as a backbone of the larger industries. A neglected sector in the past governments- this sector discovered a lifeline with the ERKF matching grants programme. It not only endorsed business owners’ access to banks for financial assistance but also formalized the undocumented economy which jointly encouraged business investment, capacity building, and employment generation and activity. Since the project’s onset, 1725 SMEs have been supported via grants disbursement and approximately 12000 jobs have been created/restored in various sectors. Hence, the project serves simultaneously as a stimulus to our economic growth and a basis for socio economic development, harmonized development and effective management of its resources – all of which are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and KP Integrated Development Strategy.
Besides the aforesaid, the ERKF’s Competitive Sector Development goals led to the first ever tourism sector analysis, resulting in a thriving industry with considerable growth of new Integrated Tourism Zones along with refurbished existing ones. In addition, a more sophisticated Tourism Management Information System was established which led to the development of an online web portal- a mark of the tourism industry’s relentless drive towards globalization. These enterprises collectively generate public awareness towards the potential and scope of this industry besides paving the way for an investment friendly environment for the private sector.
Further on, the Competitive Industries Project for KP, has introduced mechanized mining practices to enhance the capacity building of the mining department resulting in rising job creation and private sector investment in this sector.
At ERKF, ‘Fuelling prosperity, building legacies’ underpins everything we aim at. Our goal is not merely an economic one; it has many strategic dimensions. Although, the core of the project remains economic growth, its implementation proves to be transformative for contiguous regions of KP. Given the importance of the project, we are dedicated to achieving total excellence in every area of interest. We fully appreciate the critical role of KP provincial government and its people, and recognize our responsibility to deliver both short and long term results of efficiency, output and capacity building. At the end, I would like to thank our community and partners for all the trust they have in our abilities, capacities and performance.