Businessmen have called upon the government to promote manufacturing-based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which needed to be expanded manifold in line with the USA and the Western countries to boost Pakistan’s exports and create new jobs. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play an important role as they constitute an integral part of the supply chain of key export industries including textiles, food processing, and engineering, etc in Pakistan, Chief executive officer Pakistan Furniture Council Mian Kashif Ashfaq said talking to a delegation of furniture manufacturers led by Zahid Latif on Sunday. The share of manufacturing-based SMEs in bank’s lending to the entire manufacturing sector is only 5.3 percent and nominal 11.5 percent in construction sector which needed to be increased manifolds to boost exports and productivity in line with USA and western countries. Kashif said manufacturing and construction are the two largest job-providing sectors in Pakistan. He said expansion in e-Commerce and IT can only prove qualitative for economic growth if the manufacturing sector continues to grow simultaneously and for facilitating the growth of the overall manufacturing sector, promoting manufacturing-based SMEs is a must. He said if this is not done, the manufacturing-based Industry will opt for trading, leaving a vacuum in the supply chain of our key manufacturing industries. Mian Kashif Ashfaq stressed the urgent need for using ultra-modern hi-technology by SMEs to improve the quality of products and compete for global markets at par with international standards. He said SMEDA claimed that SMEs contribute 40 percent to GDP and 25 percent to export revenue which is urgently needed to be boosted on the pattern of France, Italy, Japan, China, the UK, and other developed countries.