Academia-Industry linkages stressed to MSMEs performance

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Islamabad, JUN 27 /DNA/ – Developing strong industry-academia linkages could play important role to improve economic performance of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  in KP. The panelists highlight this aspect while sharing their opinions during the webinar ‘Role of academia-industry linkage in micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Here on Monday.  

Executive Member, Peshawar Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industries, Mr Adnan Jalil, lamented that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was still following a very primitive model of doing business which lacks the required knowledge and research.  

 He highlighted that there was a lack of enthusiasm and collaboration between the business community, particularly between SMEs and the academia. Besides, the curriculum imparted in TEVTAs, and other institutes is not at par with the global standards and does not meet the futuristic needs to remain competitive at global scale. A specially designed SME Conference with the participation of all the stakeholders from academia, industry and policy makers together should be held to find way forward in this regard, he suggested.  

Dr Azmat Hayat, Assistant Professor, Malakand University, was of view that the curriculum being taught in our academic institutions is quite rigid and is not modified based on the needs of different career paths and major disciplines. Likewise, he added, there is less focus on applied research which is the reason behind the lack of innovation and creativity. 

While highlighting the importance of innovation, Mr Muhammad Salman Khan, General Secretary, Swabi Chamber of Commerce, and Industry, explained that the students are generally unaware of the facilities and opportunities being offered by the industrial sector. Dr Muhammad Arif Shah, Assistant Professor, Software Engineering and Data Science, (PAF-IAST), termed it unfortunate that Pakistani products do not follow and uphold any international standards which has undermined the image and credibility of Pakistani enterprises in the international markets. Besides, the market competitiveness of Pakistani products, graduates, entrepreneurs, and SMEs gets compromised due to this fact, he asserted.  

Earlier, Mr Ahad Nazir, Head Center for Private Sector, SDPI, informed the participants that this webinar was part of SDPI’s long-term endeavor to improve the environment for micro, small and medium enterprises through public-private dialogue. Moreover, it intends to develop network of economic think tanks for improving the business regulatory environment, he concluded.