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Asif Sheikh Javaid




Corporate Profile

Jan 01 - 14, 2001

Asif Sheikh Javaid is the young entrepreneur, running his export business as the Managing Director of East West Enterprises. A business graduate from Karachi, Asif is an ambitious flyer at Schon Air Academy. He takes flying as his most cherished hobby whenever he is at leisure. Besides looking after his family business at Karachi Export Processing Zone he also holds a senior position in North Star Insurance Company Limited. Asif also actively participates in trade bodies activities. He is the member of Exports, Banking & Insurance, Communication & Taxation Sub-Committees of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Asif also worked as the Director of National Shipping Council. At his young age he has the credit to be accorded with a certificate by the United Nations for his active involvement in a Seminar on Freight Forwarding which was jointly organized by the Pakistan Shippers Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

PAGE: The present government has introduced various economic reforms and has taken various initiatives especially to promote exports from Pakistan. Since you are engaged in export business what are your suggestions that might be helpful in enhancing exports from Pakistan.

Asif Sheikh Javaid: Besides having an export surplus and improvement in quality products of the manufacturing sector is the pre-requisite for meeting the standards of the choosy buyers abroad. It is however a matter of concern that even in those areas where the manufacturing sector achieved quality excellence equal opportunities and the level ground is denied to the exporters. For instance, on one hand the government organizes Silk Route Festival to promote the Trade via land route while the exporters are not allowed to export from Pakistan on the other hand. The cement Sector in Pakistan is running even below half of the installed capacity due to lack of demand. There is an ample scope for export of cement to neighbouring Afghanistan as that country has currently engaged in rebuilding its destroyed installations, buildings and roads. It is unfortunate that exporters are not allowed to export cement to Afghanistan through land route. Despite having repeated contacts with Tariq Ikram, Chairman Export Promotion Bureau in this regard but with no luck. It is generally argued that goods dispatched to Afghanistan come back to Pakistan after change in packing of the goods, which result in loss to the economy. One wonders how this formula of change of wrap can be applied in case of the cement export. In view of the available market for cement in Afghanistan, Pakistan authorities should give serious thought to this sector which would not only earn precious foreign exchange for the country but help reviving the stagnant cement sector beside providing jobs to a large number of the unemployed people in Pakistan.

PAGE: Having an exposure abroad and wide travelling person how do you see the prospects of Information Technology and its role in the economic prosperity of Pakistan? .

Asif Sheikh Javaid: Dr. Atta Ur Rehman, the minister anchorage of this sector has the capacity to deliver the goods and he has already done a wonderful job in bringing and spreading the IT throughout the country. However to grab its share from the international market there is an immediate need to make fundamental changes in the curricula right from intermediate level. It is unfortunate that exceptions apart the quality of education is on the decline and the quality education is confined to the chosen few, mainly due to economic and financial reasons. On the other side the national literacy rate as is also not increasing if it not declines. Without acceleration of the literacy rate and improving quality education how would we expect for human resource development in Pakistan? It is strongly recommended that in order to spread quality education to the grass root level special efforts are needed both on the part of the government as well as the private sector. Investment in human resource is the best investment, which pays back more than any other sector. Instead of subsidizing other sector, education needs heavy subsidy at a massive level if we need to harvest a rich crop in future.

PAGE: What is your experience of working in Export Processing Zone?

Asif: Karachi Export Processing Zone is claimed to be a zero rated area. However a few months back Sales Tax has been imposed on KEPZ investors on services hired by them. The ST department claims that ST is not to be paid by KEPZ investors while the service providers are liable to pay the ST. How this double standard policy can be applied. For example a customer taking food from a restaurant has to pay the costs and taxes on the food while the owner of the restaurant has been exempted from the levy. This ambiguity is needed to be resolved immediately. Although the provincial finance minister and the finance secretary agreed to this point but such issues are not easily resolved in the presence of our bureaucracy.