The government has approved a 10-year
"Engineering Vision" plan, envisaging $10 to 12 billion
investment to increase the share of industrial and manufactured
engineering goods by 25 and 30 per cent, respectively in GDP during this
This was approved on Wednesday, at a high-level
meeting, with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in the Chair. Minister for
Industries, Production and Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, senior
officials of Engineering Development Board (EDB) and SMEDA and private
sector entrepreneurs attended the meeting. The vision envisages an
increase in our exports earnings starting with $ 2 billion a year to 5/6
billion by 2010 from about 270 million dollars at present against the
world market of about $ 6 trillion.
The development of engineering industry worldwide is
characterised with an all out government support. In Pakistan this
support has not so far been so visible if not absent. As a consequence
our engineering industry remains far from achieving its true potential
in the face of tersing imports of capital goods. Due to vested interest
the country continues to have basically cotton based economy, which
offers limited opportunities for future expansion and growth. For
achieving major economic strides, it is now essential that our reliance
is shifted to other high value added areas like engineering goods
industry otherwise we would be left far behind in the 21st century world
of science and technology.
Deficit financing, adverse balance of payment
situation and inflation are the key factors at the macro level that are
responsible for the economic disaster in Pakistan. At the micro level it
is our attaching low priority to the development of the engineering
industry and the adoption of negative attitude towards a Research and
Development (R&D) based policy promote the transfer of technology
and development of an indigenous industrial base that have not provided
any chance to self-reliance. The net result has been the primary
manufactures, low value addition and low level of technology.
With the advent of WTO the economies are getting
integrated and only the most competitive and innovative shall survive.
Keeping in view the above fact there is a dire need of the long run
objective for competitive industry, which may require simultaneous
implementation of the following three areas:
a) Leveraging Existing Industrial Strengths.
b) Creating a strong Intermediate Sector and Domestic Linkages.
c) Creating External Linkages through FDI.
Realizing the importance of long term planning the
present government decided in the year 2000 to formulate a ten year
"Engineering Vision 2010" to achieve desired economic growth
and become "Asian Tiger" in the foreseeable future. This long
term vision is based on export-led industrial strategy (to increase 5 to
6 billion dollars exports of Engineering Goods annually) through
diversification and deepening of the resource-based and non-resource
based industries. The emphasis will be on full integration of
manufacturing operations through value chain to enhance industrial
linkages and to increase productivity and competitiveness by 1)
Global Orientation 2)
Public/Private Sector Industry 3)
Productivity Enhancement and Quality/ Standard 4)
Industrial Database 5)
Balanced Regional Industrialization.
During the last two years, however, very little has
been achieved in terms of the objective of the vision except the
preparation of the plan and its approval by the cabinet. Though the
president has approved the engineering plan presented by the Ministry
for Industries, the implementation procedure for this plan is yet to be
The "Engineering Vision" strategy,
formulated under the auspices of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
by the Engineering Development Board, with the help of the Small and
Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and the private
engineering sector, is aimed at creating two million new jobs and
increasing exports of engineering goods to $ 2 billion a year.
Speaking to industrialists from the engineering
sector at a meeting in Islamabad after the meeting on Thursday, Commerce
and Industries Minister Razzak Dawood said, "Building an
economically strong Pakistan through an invigorated and integrated
engineering industry is an essential requirement in today's world".
Dawood, who headed one of Pakistan's leading
engineering companies before becoming a minister in the Musharraf
government in 1999 said that successive governments had ignored the
engineering industry for more than forty years, and that growth in this
sector was consequently very low compared to that of other Asian
He said the government has devised a strategy to
build on the country's existing industrial base and progressively
increase the industrial sector's share to 25 per cent of GDP and the
share of engineering goods to 30 per cent of manufacturing over the next
He said this could only be done through a growth-led
strategy of value-added quality production that was not restricted to
the import substitution model or the export oriented limited development
model. He hoped that the new strategy would help to boost engineering
goods exports by $ 2 billion to $ 5 billion a year.
Dawood said, "We have been working for the last
two years on a short-term export strategy, focusing on textiles, rice
and leather exports. The Engineering Vision is part of our long-term