More than 100 Pakistani women recently completed a virtual training on how to export their products and explore new international markets as part of a collaborative program conducted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and several Pakistan Women Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Under this first phase of the program, 115 women from various business and industry sectors completed five online training sessions on “Export Processes and Documentation.” Participants increased their understanding of formal export procedures, the role of key stakeholders, export documentation, and international standards.
In the second phase, businesses exhibiting strong export potential will receive logistics support to participate in international trade exhibitions, technical assistance to improve export potential and international market access, and mentoring from industry experts.
“Owning your own business is a brave and noble endeavor, and for a woman, it can be even more challenging, especially during this devastating pandemic,” stated USAID/Pakistan Mission Director Julie Koenen. “We are confident that these virtual training sessions will provide these strong women entrepreneurs with the tools and resources necessary to open new markets internationally to sell their products and provide for their families.”
Many of the participants praised the training, saying that it is helping them adapt their business models to meet international market standards and practices.
“The training covered the entire regulatory, legal, transportation, and financing side of the export process,” said Shagufta Rahman who runs a handicraft business called Shop Wisely in Lahore. “By the end of the training, members of Lahore Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries not only understood the processes and key exporting terms, they also felt prepared to create a plan to take their products to international markets.”
The USAID-funded Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA) is a five-year initiative to enhance development of Pakistan’s trade sector, including increasing women’s participation in international trade.