The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is promoting the knitted garment sector in Pakistan by supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in making exports to the international markets.Recently two among the group of 20 SMEs have made exports worth $3.3 million to the US markets.The USAID through its firm’s project is supporting these SMEs to build up their production base and cater to the demands of mid-tier international buyers in the knitted garment sector.
The 20 selected SME's have received accredited certifications, such as Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) and Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT). "These certifications have breathed a new life into our businesses and have provided us with direct and easy access to 700 member companies of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) with a safe and secure supply chain," said a SME beneficiary.
In addition, the selected SMEs are being supported with training and workforce development, machinery upgrades, enterprise resource planning system and creation of market linkages.These efforts are expected to increase sales revenues by an additional million dollars by December 2014.
Sharing his experience of working with USAID, one of the SME's said, "Previously, we used to earn less profit as we had to export our products through intermediaries since we did not have international certifications. Thanks to USAID for supporting us in receiving international certifications, we are now sending our garments directly to the international markets."