Dr Saeed Ahmad Ali
LAHORE, May 30 (APP):Through industrial diversification, the long-term economic development of any country is dependent upon its productive material capabilities and the types of products which it produces for exports.
Even, South-East Asian countries are now gradually moving up the industrial ladder and have developed capabilities for production of more complex and sophisticated products, which are much in demand in the global markets.
John Henry Stein, World Bank (WB) Director for South Asia Sustainable Development, says in his article that the importance of Pakistan’s jolting manufacturing industry to increasing its share of gross domestic product (GDP) has been recognised by the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government through its practical measures.
To increase the chances of the GDP growth success, appropriate actions would be needed to come from both actors in the government: the private sector, and civil society, Stein suggests. Pakistan’s new political administration has already mentioned the importance it gives to the sustained inclusive growth, he says.
Similarly, a document of the Planning Commission of Pakistan -Vision 2025, reveals that modernisation of existing infrastructure in energy security, private sector-led growth and creation of the state-of-the-art infrastructure have been placed on top priority by Prime Minister Imran Khan government to make the country a great destination for the local and foreign investors.
The PTI government, through the Vision-2025 planning, has recognised the reality that accelerating industrialisation would require reducing the cost of doing business and creating an incentive structure, aimed at achieving a global dynamic, competitive and export-driven industrial sector, capable of competing the world economies and providing employment to the growing youth and industrial workers.
The World Bank (WB), in its recently released document, titled “Revitalising Industrial Growth in Pakistan” appreciated the PTI government for carrying out concrete work on four main input-works for a sustainable industrial growth in the country.
These input-works include macroeconomic stability and sectoral policies that support industrial competitiveness, greening of Pakistan’s industrial sector to enhance international competitiveness, up-gradation of trade facilitation and infrastructure in transport and energy sectors.
These input-works would help address some of the aspects of industrialisation and strong institutions for effective industrialisation initiatives, including those for small and medium enterprises.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Mian Nasser Hyatt Magoo told APP that in the prevailing situation, industrialisation has the potential to become a dynamic engine of economic growth for the country, adding that it would help make significant contributions to meeting Pakistan’s economic and human development goals.
Regarding development of industrial sector and Vision-2025, he said that Pakistan’s economic planning and policies should be formulated under a long-term productive development vision and modern technology capabilities in the sectors where there is a high scope of diversification and innovation, which would be attractive for the investors.
He appreciated the PTI government for announcing the main pillars of GDP growth for the next fiscal year, including exports, construction, industries, agriculture, IT, poultry and foreign remittances.
In terms of geo-economic growth and regional connectivity, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is also a blessing for Pakistan’s extensive industrial revitalisation, as well as for other regional countries in South Asia, he believes.
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hashim Raza, while commending the vision and efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan, told APP that an effective policy amid the prevailing COVID-19 lockdowns and opening of the industrial sector saved around 25 million daily-wagers’ work and earning, who, otherwise, would have gone out of job.
He said the government came up with an immediate emergency Ehsaas cash transfer programme, which boosted up and saved both the industry and the worker. Hashim Raza lauded the government for boosting industrial production to 23.33 per cent in March 2021.
Pakistan’s manufacturing sector is improving rapidly and now has room to expand further its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), while minimising the issues pertaining to unemployed labour force, Raza added. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sagacious handling of the COVID-19 pandemic would also have enhanced investors’ trust in the government policies certainly.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, during the commercial launch of the Rashakai special economic zone (SEZ) recently said that his government was focused on incentivising investment and making the country an attractive destination for investors. “Industrialisation is the future of Pakistan, and wealth creation in a country cannot be done without industry.
It is a very good thing that the Rashakai SEZ is being developed with cooperation of China,” he said, adding that his country can learn a lot from China, a country which developed its industry during the last few decades with a great pace, to speed up the industrialisation process.
The premier also promised to facilitate investors through one-window operation in the Rashakai SEZ to help them do business easily. He said his government was giving incentives to the SEZs to attract foreign and local investors for kicking off export-oriented industrialisation process in the country.