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National Incubation Centre Lahore stresses on innovation in SMEs to enhance productivity and exports at the EU Pakistan Business Forum

Usman Aslam Written by Usman Aslam · 1 min read>

Recognizing Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as the backbone for economic activity in Pakistan, the European Union hosted a business forum to discuss strategies for enhancing trade with the European Single Market and benefit from the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+). The daylong event held at a local hotel in Lahore was attended by delegates from the government, European Member States, local industry and academia.

In his keynote address, the Chairman of the National Incubation Centre Lahore (NICL) at LUMS, Saleem Ahmad, presented a compelling case for corporate innovation to enhance productivity and competitiveness. Providing a strong evidence-based case, he stated, “Pandemic-led market distortions and supply chain interruptions have provided an opportunity for innovation and technological leapfrogging.  To be able to compete with game-changing newcomers, SMEs need to emulate start-up culture, upskill their human capital and embrace the entrepreneurial mindset to defend their turf and attain global competitiveness through quality and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, by capitalizing on innovation and technology, SMEs can help bridge the country’s productivity gap. A 2-3% increase in productivity can accelerate Pakistan’s GDP by more than 6%.”

Mr. Ahmad further detailed how SMEs should leverage incubation centres, especially NICL at LUMS, as their innovation and corporate networking hubs. Under his leadership, NICL has expanded its scope from serving as a springboard for venture incubation to focusing on mass scale human capital development through applied skills training and corporate innovation. This has been achieved via an intersection of applied research and industry involvement to solve Pakistan’s biggest problems.

EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Androulla Kaminara complimented the role of NICL in bringing the best global practices to Pakistan and creating linkages with universities for technological innovation and access to experts. She encouraged the proliferation of this model to enhance the export potential of SMEs across Pakistan.

Written by Usman Aslam
A tech enthusiast, writer, researcher and strategist working on the latest technologies and making an impact. Usman has been heavily focused on building communities, empowering people through technological trends and advancements for over 3+ years including many notable names such as IEEE Region 10, TEDx, Google Developers, United Nations Programmes, Microsoft Partner Program and much more. Reach out: usman.aslam@techjuice.pk Profile