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Manufacturers gear up for Chinese interest

PAAPAM official says low cost of production luring investors to Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

PAAPAM official says low cost of production luring investors to Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan’s industrial sector is set to get a boost as Chinese companies are looking to undertake joint ventures, in a bid to take advantage of the low cost of production in this side of the world.

China’s difficulties with rising costs and Pakistan’s potential in providing ample manpower are set to be factors that could propel the latter’s growth. However, this potential will remain untapped until the government formulates encouraging and consistent policies, said Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (Paapam) Vice Chairman Mahmood Alam Sherani on Thursday.

Addressing a group of journalists, Sherani said the time was ripe for Pakistan to take advantage and the government should immediately take measures to facilitate foreign companies.

“The fast-changing global economic situation is now turning in favour of Pakistan. It is up to the country as to how it benefits from this situation,” he said, “I am hopeful the output of Pakistan’s engineering sector can be increased up to six times in the next two years if the government starts formulating right policies.”

It is not just Chinese companies, but also about 200 Russian companies that have shown interest in joint ventures in the engineering sector, including automotive part manufacturing in recent months, he informed.

“We are hopeful that the new auto policy will also help local manufacturing in Pakistan and it will be beneficial for the local players,” Sherani said.

Paapam Senior Vice Chairman Mashood Ali Khan said Paapam is in discussion with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to create cheap financing opportunities along the lines of the textile industry.

With continuous rise in local car sales, local automotive part makers are also expected to do better business. According to Paapam, investments in the industry now exceed $1.5 billion.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.

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