INTERVIEW WITH S.M. MUNEER, CHAIRMAN DIN GROUP OF COMPANIES

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Jan 31 - Feb 6, 20
11

PAGE: WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ABOUT SAARC BUSINESS FORUM?

S. M. MUNEER: Initiated in 2004, SAARC Business Leaders Conclave (SBLC) has emerged as the most successful and the most prestigious event of the private sector of South Asia. The core objective of convening this event as a regular venture of SAARC CCI is to develop SAARC CCI as a Davos of South Asian Community and to bring the institution into limelight by inviting stakeholders (political leaders, heads of leading enterprises, academicians, and opinion leaders from different walks of life) to join the voice of the private sector of the region on socioeconomic issues.

This idea was materialized on November 17-18, 2005 when the first SBLC was organized in New Delhi, India. As a biennial event, three conclaves have been organized so far. Customarily, the event is inaugurated by head of government/ state of the host country. The first SBLC inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, received 300 participants from the region including over 100 from India. The event turned out to be a successful forum in brining business houses closer together and encouraged the institution for further development.

The second again held in Mumbai, India was inaugurated by Pranab Mukherjee, former Indian minister of foreign affairs in the year 2007. The event attracted more than 300 participants from the region. Both events were held with the close collaboration of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry- the national chamber of the host country.

Inspired by success of 1st and the 2nd South Asian Business Leaders Conclave (SBLC), the 3rd SBLC was organized in collaboration with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FCCISL) on November 22-23, 2009 at Colombo, Sri Lanka. Ratnasri Wikramanayaka, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka inaugurated the event, which was attended by more than 400 participants from the region, UAE and China. As stated by the former Chairman of SBLC Steering Committee, the 3rd SBLC was more successful in terms of contents and productivity. The added feature of the 3rdSBLC was introduction of B-2-B Meetings, which enabled the members to sign joint ventures in mutually interested areas.

All three conclaves provided the right platform for a broader and intense engagement between the member governments and South Asian business community and emphasized for deeper public-private partnership to create dynamic complementarities to address the common challenges. The South Asian Business Community found the forum very useful for striking new partnerships, exploring virgin business opportunities and sharing best practices across many sectors.

PAGE: WHAT PARTICULAR ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS HAS SAARC ACHIEVED SINCE ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN 1985?

S. M. MUNEER: It is often argued that the SAARC is a failed organization, which to me is not correct in all respects. SAARC may have not acquired success on some core fronts particularly in resolving such political issues, which have been impeding the growth of the region. SAARC, as an organization, is not failure; it is the political leadership of the South Asian countries, which have made SAARC a sluggish organization. Nevertheless, the region has been successful in carving out free trade area and after the implementation of SAFTA establishment of some important allied organizations has been a very positive contribution of SAARC. It is well-established fact that performance of SAARC is par below as compared with other regional groupings like EU, NAFTA, ASEAN and COMESA, which is due mainly to the fact that the leadership of those countries have been successful in burying all issues, which could impede the development of their respective region while issues in South Asia are more complex in nature and need to be interpreted for the economic well-being of the humanity.

PAGE: SAARC'S SEVEN FOUNDING MEMBERS ARE BANGLADESH, BHUTAN, INDIA, THE MALDIVES, NEPAL, PAKISTAN, AND SRI LANKA. AFGHANISTAN JOINED THE ORGANIZATION IN 2007. WHAT ECONOMIC CHANGES HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN SAARC REGION SINCE 2007?

S. M. MUNEER: Since 2007, SAARC has been transformed into a Free Area after signing of SAFTA. Its canvass has been broadened after inclusion of services. In addition to ratification of SAFTA, the member countries have been involved in materializing bilateral as well as sub-regional initiatives, which are complimenting trade regional trade gradually. In the region, Sri Lanka has signed FTA with India and Pakistan. Bangladesh and Pakistan have preferential trade initiatives. Pakistan and Afghanistan have signed transit trade agreement and so as the agreements between India and Nepal and Bhutan.

PAGE: WHAT ECONOMIC CHANGES HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN SAARC REGION SINCE 2007?

S. M. MUNEER: SAFTA needs to be implemented in true spirit and the political leaders need to exhibit greater political will in this regard. Furthermore, the political issues between India and Pakistan need to be resolved on perpetual basis, which have positive and multiplier effect on the region as a whole.

CHAIRMAN: 1) M/S. DIN LEATHER (PVT) LTD.

The leading exporting company of finished leather in Pakistan having most modern tanning unit in Karachi with annual turnover of about Pak. Rs.1.80 billion. (US$23 million)

CHAIRMAN: 2) M/S. DIN TEXTILE MILLS LTD.

One of the leading exporters of different types of valued added: Yarns, having three most modern spinning units in Lahore (total 61,728: spindles) and exporting following very high quality value added Yarns. Total annual turnover is about PakRs5 billion (US$63 million)

100% Cotton Knitting Yarn Brand "NABEEL"
100% Cotton Melange Yarn Brand "DIN"
100% Cotton Compact Yarn Brand "DINCOM4"
- Cone Dyed Yarn Brand "DIN"
Slub Yarn Brand "DIN"
Core Spun Lycra Yarn Brand KOMFORT
Combed and Gassed Yarn Brand "DIN"
P/C Melange Yarn Brand "DIN"

The above units are equipped with most modern imported machinery and are producing finest quality yarn in different varieties.

HOLDING POSITIONS IN OTHER CONCERNS
VICE CHAIRMAN:nI) MUSLIM COMMERCIAL BANK LTD.
Since 08/04/1991 - 05/06/1995 and 30/08/2000 - to date
MEMBER: II) BOARD OF GOVERNORS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
MANAGEMENT KARACHI (CBM), SINCE 1997.
MEMBER: III) BOARD OF GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY OF
MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY (UMT), LAHORE ?SINCE 1996.
MEMBER: IV) BOARD OF GOVERNORS GREENWICH UNIVERSITY, KARACHI SINCE 30/06/1998.
TRUSTEE: V) FATIMID BLOOD FOUNDATION, KARACHI, SINCE 29-05-2000
CHAIRMAN: VI) BOARD OF GOVERNORS DIN COLLEGE, CHINIOT
SINCE 12/01/2004
MEMBER: VII) BOARD OF GOVERNOR INSTITUTE OF BEHAVIORAL
SCIENCES (IBS) SINCE 2003.
MEMBER: VIII) ?BOARD OF GOVERNOR SHAUKAT KHANUM
MEMORIAL TRUST, LAHORE
(SKMT) SINCE 12/12/2004.

MEMBER: IX) APPOINTED AS MEMBER, ADVISORY BOARD OF CITIZEN POLICE LAISON COMMITTEE (CPLC) BY THE HONOURABLE GOVERNOR SINDH VIDE SINDH GOVERNMENT NOTIFICATION NO.POL-II-HD/14-7/1998 DATED 16-02-2008.

CHAIRMAN X) CHINIOT ANJUMAN-E-ISLAMIA SINCE 20/05/2007-TO DATE

PATRON-IN-CHIEF XI) KORANGI ASSOCIATION OF TRADE & INDUSTRY SINCE 1996.

PRESIDENT IPCCI XII) ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF INDIA-PAKISTAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (IPCCI) ON 12/11/2008 IN NEW DELHI (INDIA) FOR 2 YEARS.

CHAIRMAN XIII) PAK-CANADA BUSINESS COUNCIL OF FPCCI FOR 2009/2010

MEMBER XIV) MEMBER IBA ADVISORY COUNCIL SINCE 16/12/2009

TROPHIES AND AWARDS

* DIN LEATHER (Pvt.) LTD received various best export performance trophies from the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Karachi for highest exports.

* DIN LEATHER (Pvt.) LTD. has also been awarded the best award "Gold Medallion Award" in recognition to its exports achievements by The International Export Association, U.K.

* S. M. Muneer (Chairman) has been awarded the "best business man of the year award" by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Karachi, which is the highest award given by FPCCI.

* DIN TEXTILE MILLS LTD has been awarded twice "The Top 25 Companies Award" by the Karachi Stock Exchange.

a) In 2000 and award was given by the then Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.

b) In 2001 an award was given by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mir Zafarullah Jamali.

* Former President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf has conferred "SITARA-I-ISAAR" Award to S.M. Muneer on 30-06-2006 in recognition of his outstanding services for the cause of humanity.

* Pervez Musharraf has conferred biggest Award of "SITARA-I-IMTIAZ" to S.M.Muneer (Chairman) on 14-08-2007 in recognition of his outstanding public services for the cause of humanity. This award was given by Governor of Sindh Dr.Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan on 23/03/2008.

* After approval by the Governor of Sindh, Institute of Business & Technology (BIZTEK) has conferred Honorary PHD degree of Doctorate of Philosophy at its convocation held on 30th May, 2008 at Hotel Marriott in Karachi.

* Second time again after approval by the Governor of Sindh, Indus Institute of Higher Education has conferred Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy at its convocation held on 19th January, 2009.

FOREIGN VISITS

* Travelled abroad extensively in the last 46 years to various countries for the promotion of export orders for more than 400 times.

* Visited following countries as the Leader of Pakistan's' Official Trade Delegation of Government of Pakistan.

* India 1982
* New Zealand & Fiji Island 1984
* Japan/Korea 1985
* Turkey 1991

* Visited Turkey and Iraq as a member of Govt official delegation led by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto in 1989.

* Visited Turkey as a member of Govt. official delegation with Senator Sartaj Aziz Federal Finance Minister in 1991

* Visited Muscat as a member of Govt. official delegation led by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and signed "Cooperation Agreement" between FPCCI and Oman Chamber in 1994.

* Visited Germany as President FPCCI with official delegation led by the then Prime Minister of ?Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and signed "Cooperation Agreement" between ?FPCCI & DIHT (German Federation) from April 18th to 20th April 1994.

* Visited Turkmenistan with Benazir Bhutto from 25th to 28th October, 1994.

* Visited Japan with Benazir Bhutto from 16th to 21st January, 1996.

* Visited Indonesia and Brunei with Benazir Bhutto from 5th March to 10th March,1996.

* Visited Bahrain & Syria with Benazir Bhutto from 22th April to 25th April, 1996.

* Visited Korea with Benazir Bhutto from 21st July to 24th July 1996.

* Visited with Shaukat Aziz, ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan as the member of official delegation to the following countries.

DATE AND COUNTRY

21-24 November, 2004. Sri Lanka, Maldives and India.
31st May, 2005 Lebanon
31st May to 3rd June, 2005 Turkey
8th to 11th August, 2005 Japan
11th to 13th August, 2005 Hong Kong.
28th Sep. to 3rd Oct. 2005 Korea & Malaysia
. Visited Turkey with Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif from 12thJan to 16th January, 2010.

POSITIONS HELD IN THE PAST

Chairman of All Pakistan Tanners Association (Central Zone) in the following years:

1969-70, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86 and 1993-94. (seven times). Organized "Pakistan Leather Show" since 1979.

Member of Federal Parliament (Government of Pakistan) in 1984-85. (Majlis-e-Shura).

Vice Chairman/Senior Vice Chairman of SITE Association of Industry, Karachi, for two years which is one of the biggest industrial associations of Pakistan in 1985-86.

Chairman of Export Promotion Committee for Leather and Leather Garments from 1981 to 1986.

Senior Vice President of Faran Club (International) 1986-87.

President of Faran Club (International) 1987-88.

Trustee in Karachi Port Trust for 1986-87.

Vice Chairman of Karachi Port Trust for 1987-88 & remained acting Chairman many times.

Chairman, Korangi Association of Trade & Industry which is the biggest industrial association of Pakistan for 1988-89 and 1990-91. (two times)

Member of Managing Committee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 1985-1987 & 1990-91. (Two times)

Member of Managing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Karachi, 1988-1990.

Vice President of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Karachi, for 1990-91 and was Acting President, many times during 1990-91.

President, Karachi Gymkhana Club for the year 1991-92.

Vice Chairman of Muslim Commercial Bank Limited during since 08-04-1991 to 04-06-1995.

President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry during Jan-94 to Mar-1996.

Federal Minister of State & Chairman Pakistan Trade Fair Corporation in 1997.

Appointed Minister of State and Chairman Pakistan Trade Fair Corporation (as he is not a member of any political party). Not taken any benefit that is any salary, car, petrol, driver or any travelling charges and everything was paid personally and has given the services to the business community completely free cost with pleasure without any burden of any sort on national exchequer.

Chairman of Muslim Commercial bank Ltd. from 05-06-1995 to 27-06-1997.

Vice President of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (Sindh Provincial Branch) from 23-07-1998 till 09-10-2002.

Director Investment Corporation of Pakistan from 12/3/1997 till 21/03/2001.

Director State Cement Corporation of Pakistan from 27/10/2003 to 13/04/2004.

Chairman of Aiwan-e-Tijarat-o-Sanat Hospital Trust, Karachi. 1997-1998.

Director, Corporate & Industrial Restructuring Corporation (CIRC) Govt. of Pakistan Since 06-01-2001 till 22/09/2006 (Shaukat Aziz was the Chairman, of this CIRC.)

Vice Chairman Chiniot Anjuman-e-Islamia from 24/01/2001 till 19/05/2007.

Director National Industrial Parks Development and Management Company (NIP) from 18/4/2006 till 8/4/2008.

Director Pakistan Textile City (Pvt) Ltd. Karachi from 10/11/2004 till 15/09/2008.

Member Board of Governors Police Hospital Karachi & Hyderabad from 13/3/2006 till 29/1/2009

* Member: Karachi Gymkhana Club Since 10/08/1972
* Member: Karachi Club Since 14/04/1992
* Member: Karachi Golf Club Since 24/12/1987
* Member: Defence Authority Marina Club, Karachi Since 25/08/1992
* Member: Faran Club International - Karachi Since 19/07/1986
* Member: Bath Island Lions Club, Karachi Since May, 1994
* Member: Muslim Gymkhana Karachi, Since 02-10-1998
* Member/Director: Arabian Sea Country Club, Karachi Since 01/07/1997
* Member: ACACIA Country & Golf Club Since 24/01/2008
* President: Karachi New MJF Lions Club Since 17/10/2006