President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that textile sector plays vital role in Country’s economy; having 8.5 percent share in GDP, 40 percent share in industrial workforce, 25 percent share in industrial value addition and 21 percent share in large scale manufacturing. Readymade garment is most important subsector of textile and plays an important role in exports and women employment.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that despite the importance of garments sector in Pakistan’s economy, the sector has not been able to attain its potential in terms of the underlying capacity of Pakistan’s textile sector; main reasons include lack of product and market diversification, low value addition and low export competitive. Despite having GSP+ Pakistan’s share of EU imports increased by roughly 0.5 percent in both categories of knitted and woven garments over 2013-2017. However in the same time share of Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam increased by roughly 6, 2, and 1.1 percent respectively. It shows that the great opportunity of GSP+ has been missed and the leftover market has been captured by competitors.
The Former Minister said that for strengthening textile particularly garments sector, it is important to focus on domestic supply chain, adaption of latest technology, easy and affordable access to industrial raw material and capacity building of industrial workforce. It is also important to make the access to credit convenient and easy especially for the SME sector and reform policies to make the complex bank system of acquiring credit simple and friendly. Current Govt. is working on improving the EoDB and Prime Minister Imran Khan has already issued instructions in this regard, however, instant practical measures are need of time.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that exports of garments sector stood at around $ 5 billion in 2017 and Pakistan’s share in the global market was around 1.1 percent. Govt. can increase exports further by considering the recommendations of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, which is working for improvement of this sector.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that GSP+ status is valid till 2023, meanwhile Government should form GSP export authority with collaboration of experienced and leading manufacturers and traders of export oriented products / services. The authority should be held responsible for providing all requisite facilities to the export oriented sectors like branding, value addition, research, certification, easy financing and quality control in order to get maximum of GSP+ status and boost Country’s exports to a next level.
Uzbekistan, UAE, Russia, Malaysia, KSA and Germany interested to invest in Pakistan
Increased investment will lead to improved foreign reserves & Employment: Mian Zahid Hussain
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that investment outlook of the Country is becoming better give to reforms’ policies of the PTI government and successful foreign visits of the Prime Minister Imran Khan. Several countries have shown interest in investment in Pakistan in addition to China’s CPEC project.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that Saudi Arabia has planned to establish World’s largest oil refinery in Gwadar which will fetch around $ 5 billion of foreign investment. UAE in addition to $ 6 billion relief package for Pakistan has shown interest in investment in Pakistan. Russian and Pakistan have signed a $ 10 billion agreement of gas pipeline project, which is reported to be the biggest agreement between the countries. Germany, an economically leading EU country has consented to invest in the SME sector of Pakistan. Its industrial sector is 99 percent based on SME, providing employment to 60 percent of its people.
The Former Minister said that Malaysia has also consented to invest in different sector of Pakistan including infrastructure, housing and telecommunication. The bilateral trade between both countries stood at around $ 1 billion, which need to be increased. Malaysia is World’s best market for Halal meat; Pakistan can fetch the global meat market by arranging Halal and hygiene certification. Pakistan is 4th biggest buyer of Malaysian Palm oil.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Uzbekistan has stressed on increased trade with Pakistan; areas with huge trade potential include agriculture, construction, mineral resources & mining and textile where both countries can collectively improve trade. Government need to take practical measures to boost international trade which will curb poverty and improve per capita income. Uzbekistan can be the gateway to many Central Asian countries.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that to represent Pakistan’s soft image globally, the Govt. needs to take measures and the projects for EoDB should be implemented faster so that the destiny of rich Pakistan may be achieved. Foreign direct investment in Pakistan stood at only $ 1.5 billion from July – December 2018, which is far less than the same period of previous year. Stock market is also destabilized. Govt. needs to make an investment friendly environment by resolving problems faced by investors.
Pakistan’s fiscal political situation will highly strengthen with Saudi’s Crown Prince Visit: Mian Zahid Hussain
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share brotherly ties which will boost will the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. Pakistan’s political and fiscal standing will get improved with visit of Saudi Crown Prince along with high power delegation of ministers, investors and traders.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that Saudi Arabia is a country of 32 million people with GDP of $ 640 billion while Pakistan comprised of 210 million people with GDP of only $ 290 billion. As per global competitive index, Saudi Arabia ranked 30 out of 137 countries while Pakistan ranked 115 however on global index of EoDB Saudi Arabia stands at 92nd position out of 190 while Pakistan is at 136th position. The hurdles in improved competitiveness in both and KSA include strict labour regulations, restricted access to credit and complicated tax system.
The Former Minister said that the brotherly relations between both Muslim countries should be used to strengthen trade ties between the countries for improving both economies. Reduction in visit visa fee for Pakistani from SAR 2000 to SAR 338 for single entry and SAR 675 for multiple entries is appreciative and should be reduced further in order to make it convenient for Pakistanis to get to the Kingdom and improve trade ties.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Saudi ambassador to Pakistan H.E. Nawaf Bin Said Al Malki and counsel general to Sindh H.E. Ubaidullah Al-Harbi have important role in getting both countries closer with respect to trade and economy. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have stood with one another at times of need and Pakistan still is playing vital role in making Saudi stronger and secured through its Armed forces. Former Army Chief of Pakistan General Raheel Sharif is heading the Islamic Force of 39 countries, which reflects the strong bonding between brotherly countries. 1500 Army officers / officials are currently serving in KSA to impart training to Saudi Army.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that over 1.5 million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia are of high importance for Saudi economic growth and Pakistani foreign reserves. Last year Pakistanis in KSA remitted $ 920 million while bilateral trade has exceeded $ 3 billion in which Pakistan’s exports shared $ 300 million approx. Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is powerful personality of KSA and holds important positions of Vice President Ministers’ Council and Ministry of Defence in addition to be the Crown Prince of the Kingdom. He will accompanied by ministers, traders, investors and several industrialists. Both countries will discuss and sign MoUs for investment of around $ 15 billion in different sectors including energy, internal security, agriculture, minerals and other fields of interest.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan can play important role in facilitating KSA to trade with China, Russia and Central Asian Countries which Saudi Arabia cannot access directly. Saudi investment in Pakistan will improve regional peace, prosperity and trade. To improve bilateral trade between both countries, Pak – Saudi joint chamber of commerce should be used and recommendations of joint chamber should be given due consideration.