INTERVIEW WITH MUHAMMAD NADEEM KHAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR RAAZIQ INTERNATIONAL (PVT.) LTD.
Mar 7 - 13, 2011
PAGE: TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.
MR. KHAN: I am just an ordinary person who has been very lucky in life. I guess a lot of people work very hard and achieve very little in terms of results or prosperity, I have been lucky to achieve both.
PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ABOUT AFGHAN TRANSIT TRADE.
MR. KHAN: It is a gift from the heavens. The money coming and the State Bank jumping up and down with joy over what it claims are remittances from expat Pakistanis is the side effect of ATT. As far as the transit of Nato containers is concerned this is a deal that has been sold by the government of Pakistan. It is for the safeguarding of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and should be honored to ensure that the region is not taken over by terrorists in the name of Islam. It pays well and it should be supported and maximum advantage should be available to the local players.
PAGE: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO PROVIDE WORLD-CLASS LOGISTIC FACILITIES TO EXPORTERS AND IMPORTERS?
MR. KHAN: This land is owned by the people of Pakistan and the power must pass to the people. Once they are in charge then they will work for their advantage and this will bring change. The problem is that the commercial space is too cramped with all the non-tax paying quasi government organization distorting the playing field. We know what is good and we know what needs to be done, we need an enabling environment. Its no good that I say we need this and we need that and in the end the commercial environment is anti-private investment.
PAGE: HOW WOULD YOU COMMENT ON LOGISTIC AND FREIGHT FORWARDING COMPANIES IN PAKISTAN?
MR. KHAN: Basically, we are a nascent industry and the weakest link in the chain. We are utterly exploited, so any expectation of prosperity or development is perhaps a misplaced notion. Given this background, foreign companies have come in and taken up this space. This is the saddest part about our industry. We will continue to be slaves, in our country or workers of another foreign entity. Look at Dubai, they create a great enabling environment and then ask all the foreign companies to be minority shareholders. I think there is a lesson in all of this. In reply to your question and in spite of the above we have some really smart local outfits that can run with the best. We have a great future.
PAGE: WHAT STEPS, IN YOUR OPINION, SHOULD BE TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN TO FACILITATE LOGISTIC AND FREIGHT FORWARDING COMPANIES?
MR. KHAN: Open up and let private enterprise breathe. Give us the money (loans) and we will give you the tax revenues. Please no more government interference and heavy bureaucracy.
PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON AMOUNT BEING CHARGED BY LOGISTIC AND FREIGHT FORWARDING COMPANIES.
MR. KHAN: We function in a global system and the rest of the world knows how to survive. If Pakistan trade wants zero freight to get a low C&F cost (and save duties) then the cost of transportation will come out in the form of local charges. It is simple. We are not cheating but people should try and understand why this regime of high local charges is there in the first place. If they talk to us, we will rationalize this but we cannot take this charge as being valid.