PROMOTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS KEY PRIORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT: ZARTAJ GUL

0
85

Islamabad, AUG 3 /DNA/ – Promoting women entrepreneurs is the key priority of the government to reduce poverty and improve economic growth, therefore, the government is taking many initiatives to bring more women into the mainstream of the economy. This was stated by Ms. Zartaj Gul, Minister of State for Climate Change while inaugurating as Chief Guest an exhibition of women handcraft products organized by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with Handicrafts Association of Pakistan and the Centaurus at Centaurus Mall, Islamabad.

Zartaj Gul said that the government has formed a policy to provide interest free loans to women and women would also be supported through Kamyab Jawan and Ahsaas Programs so that they could play a more effective role in the economic development of the country and uplift the living standard of their families. She said that women are producing quality handicraft products that should be displayed at tourist spots to promote their business. She advised the women entrepreneurs to focus on innovation and skills development to achieve better growth of their businesses. She assured that she would play a role in the government for promoting the cause of women entrepreneurs to create more opportunities for their growth and progress. She took a round of the exhibition and appreciated the good quality of handmade products of women entrepreneurs put on display.

Speaking at the occasion, Mian Akram Farid, Chairman Founder Group said that the handicraft sector is the most neglected sector in Pakistan and stressed that the government should make conducive policies to harness the real potential of this sector for promoting trade and exports. He said that better focus on the handicraft sector would also help in realizing the PM’s vision of tourism promotion. He appreciated the government’s policy of interest free loans for women, however, said that the banks were not fully cooperating in providing interest free loans to women and emphasized that the government should address this issue. He further said that the small industries and small businesses should be supported as their role is very important in accelerating the economic growth of the country.

Fatma Azim, Senior Vice President, ICCI said that the purpose of organizing this exhibition in collaboration with partners is to promote the handicraft products of women. She said that this expo has provided women a good platform to show the potential of their products and improve their business prospects. She said that the government should cooperate in providing international exposure to the handicraft products of women that would improve exports and assured that the ICCI would continue to take more initiatives for creating new opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

Halima Usman Sarothia, Chairperson, Handicrafts Association of Pakistan said that the government should provide free space to women entrepreneurs in SEZs being setup under CPEC and more interest free loans to women start-ups should be provided. Sardar Rashid Ilyas Khan, CEO, Centaurus and Ejaz Abbasi, former President ICCI also spoke at the occasion and shared useful ideas for promoting handicraft products of women.