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Lahore

March 10, 2018

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Growth linked to export promotion, research

LAHORE: Pakistan needs a research and value addition based approach for the promotion of exports and to achieve the economic growth targets instead of conventional business culture while equal distribution of energy supplies across the country besides continuity of the government could be ensured then private sector can play major role in increasing the productivity.

These views were expressed by the experts in the Jang Economic Session on ‘Role of Faisalabad in Economic Growth – and issues faced by it’. The panellists were Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) president Shabbir Chawala, Dr Qais Aslam, Hussain Ahmed Sherazi, Engineer Sohail Bin Rasheed, Mehmood Ahmed, Pervaiz Hanif, and Hamza Bashir while the session was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.

Shabbir Chawala said more than 100 years old Faisalabad city was actively contributing to the economic growth of country. The textile export of the city is increased by 8 percent, second largest industrial estate established, investment expanded, new big brands plants and investment agreement are the proof of growth of the industrial city. He believed that promotion of ‘Made in Faisalabad’ locally and internationally will help economic growth. He said Faisalabad played vital role in the economic growth of the country until 2005, but after that the energy crisis had adversely affected the textile industry and its USD13 to 14 billion annual exports. He said Faisalabad’s industry meets the 70 percent of local demand and plays vital role in exports and local industry demand.

Dr Qais Aslam said Faisalabad is the richest city of Pakistan in per capita income but this impact of the civic life is invisible. He said Pakistan’s exports are not demand oriented rather first made the production then search the market which resulted in numerous issues after increase in cost of production. He said global demand of textile was shrunk while remaining demand was supplied by India, China and Bangladesh with their quality and competitiveness while Pakistan now required to be developed as demand based country besides developing the production on modern lines. The tax share of Faisalabad in national revenue is low. He demanded the industrialists of the city to develop industry-academia linkages for modern research and demand-oriented production.

Hussain Ahmed Sherazi said that change in energy policies across the country could benefit Faisalabad too as improvement in image globally, law and order can pave way for promotion of exports and foreign direct investment. He called for effective reforms to restructure the tax structure while better future of Pakistan lies in knowledge-based economy. He said cheap labour could become a problem if industrialisation would not be focused with value addition. He suggested for research through textile universities for knowledge based value added products for textile sector.

Engineer Sohail Bin Rasheed said Faisalabad is playing a role of backbone in the exports of Pakistan being 40 to 50 percent textile exports share. He said textile sector was only one which accommodates the unskilled labour force. He called for revival of big textile units through incentives to increase exports and provision of workforce.

Mehmood Ahmed said that the government should not be held responsible for all failure and everyone should play its role positively. He said no work was done for the infrastructure development of Faisalabad city neither for industrialisation. He said local politicians and industrialists should work for the city development and change the approach of big profits with less investment.

Pervaiz Hanif said the government was not pro-export as neither the work was done on textile sector development nor other exports so the demand of Pakistani products in global markets was reduced. He said unemployment was growing fast and future of industries is bleak. He called for industrial incentives and government support for the industrialisation.

Hamza Bashir said that implementation of reforms of ease of doing business is crucial instead of new reforms. He suggested establishment of an institution to promote textile sector on modern lines by changing the working culture and support through research and development. He said daily wagers were adversely affected with energy crisis. He said Faisalabad could be made again industrial hub by providing incentives and special packages for small and medium enterprises and mega industries.

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