ISLAMABAD: United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) representative, Esam

Alqararah, said that Pakistan has a great potential in various diverse fields, especially in the renewable

He elaborated that there were a number of localities in Pakistan where residents could easily generate

electricity by putting a small turbine in the water flowing in rivers and their tributaries, and they will

have no need to get connected with any grid station.

At present, the UN body was running six different projects related to energy, environment and capacity

building of business community in collaboration with ministries of Industries, Climate Change,

Commerce, Science and Technology as well as the Chambers of Commerce and Industry,

During the last five years, UNIDO had spent around $ 20 million in different projects, which involved

capacity building of entrepreneurs, promotion of renewable energy, kerbing industrial pollution and

protection of the environment in Pakistan, he added.

In response to a question, he postulated, andquot;The budget is not so important, sometimes a project having

high budget leaves a small impact and sometimes a low-budget project creates a huge impact in the

society.andquot; He then went on to make note of the Clean Technology (Cleantech) project, currently being

executed in eight countries including Pakistan simultaneously, he asserted that it was proving highly

beneficial for entrepreneurs, innovators and start-up companies to grow and take their ideas further.

UNIDO was managing a global programme called Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP), which

was a global competition aimed at promoting innovations in the area of clean technologies, he

elaborated. This competition is designed to foster innovation in renewable energy, energy efficiency,

water efficiency, energy waste and green building, and aims to target Small and Medium-sized

Enterprises (SMEs). andquot;Every year, five selected applicants are selected by a panel of judges after

evaluating their novel ideas and given $ 25,000 each besides further mentorship and training in Silicon

Valley, the USA for the global contest,andquot; he said.

Alqararah believed, andquot;We have the policy to create a conducive environment and provide the model role

that promotes innovation in this country, and you (Pakistan) will have to minimise trade barriers for its

entrepreneurs.andquot; The programme was also said to have resulted in such significant effects that now more

than 50 countries were asking UNIDO to implement it for their entrepreneurs, largely because the

Cleantech had encouraged entrepreneurs and the start-up innovators in executing their unique ideas.

In his remarks on the environmental issues, the UNIDO Representative said that the organisation had

planned to set up an industrial waste treatment unit in Karachi similar to ones already introduced in

Kasur and Sialkot in order to minimise environmental hazards. All the projects being executed in

Pakistan by the organisation were innovative, cost-effective and environment-friendly, he elaborated.

With regard to the agricultural sector of Pakistan, he underlined the need of a strong food packaging

industry and an effective grading of edibles to compete in international markets. andquot;Pakistan is a milk

producing country, and it needs an improved packaging system for dairy products. In this field, we are

now planning to launch (a) joint venture,andquot; he maintained. Alqararah also added that Pakistan was the

first country to have adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced by UN, of which

chapter nine titled `Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and

foster innovationand#39; related to UNIDO. andquot;This government took the initiative from the beginning to adopt

the SDGs, making Pakistan the first country to adopt the agenda,andquot; he remarked.

The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP), currently running in 6 countries, including Pakistan,

is a three year programme that aims at developing a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem, while

supporting clean technology innovations in SMEs and startup entrepreneurs to maximize their

opportunities to achieve sustainable commercial success. The GCIP for SMEs in Pakistan is funded by the

Global Environment Facility (GEF) and is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development

Organization (UNIDO) with the support of local and international partners. The Cleantech Open, the

biggest cleantech accelerator in the United States of America, is the programmeand#39;s global partner. The

programme will utilize the Cleantech Openand#39;s proven model to support cleantech startups and SMEs for

the implementation of the acceleration programme in Pakistan.

The Cleantech Programme in Pakistan focuses on fostering emerging and commercially viable clean

technology startups to fuel green industrial growth in the country, while small and medium-sized

enterprises are provided with training, mentoring, and access to potential investors. The Programme will

adopt the GEF UNIDO Cleantech ecosystem approach which, among others, includes close engagement

with the private sector, scaling up the momentum for sustainable industrial development and

strengthening the policy framework as required. By working closely with SMEs, national ministries,

academia, industrial associations, provincial governments, potential investors, partner agencies and

autonomous research centers in the country and abroad, this Programme will establish an effective

awareness campaign and platform to mobilize interest among targeted beneficiaries and ensure the

adequate buy-in of SMEs.

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