24 - 30, 2009

Pakistani engineering industry has great potential and it could repeat the performance of 60's by increasing the country's export manifold. Pakistan has no presence in some markets including Africa and it can make a name if serious efforts are made to market engineering products. The need of the hour is to help the businessmen associated with the industry to tap the markets for exporting products.

According to the CEO Engineering Development Board (EDB), Asad Elahi the Board has diversified its functions and has been working on various sectors. After finalizing steel policy EDB has completed Electronics Goods Policy, he said adding that it is now working on Foundry Policy. He appreciated the role of stakeholders in formulation of these policies and said that the board was pursuing in real sense the concept of public-private partnership.

While addressing the meeting of Working Group on "Electronic" set up by the Board in which the draft National Electronic Policy was presented, Asad Elahi has emphasized the importance of electronic industry in development of national industry and assured support of government in its promotion. Dr. Franz Thum, a German expert, who assisted the Board in preparation of the policy gave detailed assessment of current situation of Pakistan Electronic Industry and suggested plan for its progress.

The expert emphasized need to develop a modern, competitive, and viable electronic industry to meet both national demands and become part of the global market. The Mission of the Policy says that the electronics industry of Pakistan shall supply key products with own brands in consumer electronic and industrial automation capturing major share of the home market which will provide the base for entering exports. It also provides rationale for the proposed Policy.

Strategies for product development, acquiring technologies, infrastructure, institution development, manufacturing capacity, human resources development, and export campaign formed the part of the Policy. Key products for development have also been firmed up. The Policy focuses on renewable energies and says that Pakistan is located in the global Sun Belt with irradiation densities of 2400 kwh/m2/1 and should go for solar power generation. After incorporating the intakes of the stakeholders, the Policy will be discussed with line departments and Ministries. Later it will be submitted to ECC for approval.

It may be recalled that EDB had formed a working group in the beginning of the current year for formulation of the Policy. All sub-sectors of electronic industry were given representation in the group, which held extensive consultations with stakeholders and visited leading production units.

While addressing another meeting of the Working Group formed by the EDB to formulate medium and long term export plan for engineering industry, CEO EDB said Pakistani engineering industry had huge potential for fetching exports.

The Group comprises representatives of export-oriented engineering sub-sector as well as related government agencies. It will deliberate on various issue and problems confronting the engineering sector at the sub-sectoral level and develop a "National Engineering Exports Development Strategy (NEEDS)" to achieve a quantum leap in export growth. Rizwan Qadri a leading exporter of engineering goods has been appointed its convener.

The working group reviewed the vision, mission, work plan, and methodology prepared for 'National Engineering Exports Development Strategy (NEEDS). The mission of the working group was to have an exponential growth in export of engineering goods and services by way of, enhancement of capacities. The working group would also deliberate on the methodology of production data, import data, export data, exportable surplus, quality and standards, manufacturing practices, managerial capability, financial issues, certifications involved, analysis of target markets, strengths, and weaknesses.

It would also work on analysis of regulatory and facilitation environment, marketing, market access and FTAs/RTAs and analysis of commercial practices. The Working Group will constitute as medium and long-term strategy for export of 16 segments of engineering industry including structural changes in these areas to meet the global demand of value added products. The working group will review overall performance of the engineering industry of Pakistan during the last five years with regard to development, growth, technological advancement, and exports.

It will carry out sectoral analysis for engineering sub-sectors with the objective to identify products having export potential, marketing strategy, countries that could provide potential export markets for Pakistani engineering goods. The group will identify products to which market access has been provided under FTA's signed with different countries and to develop strategy for marketing these products in FTA partner countries. It will also analyze export-financing facility, financial support needs of the engineering industry for enhancing engineering export and will assess product-testing infrastructures, testing facilities available in Pakistan.