KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Junaid Esmail Makda has said that with the expansion of CPEC to more and more countries, Pakistan could become a major world channel for petro-chemical trade and greatly stimulate its economic growth.
“Hence, the government has to prop up the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) to handle the expected high growth in trade and not to miss out on this great opportunity”, he stressed while speaking at the concluding session of 9th Annual Sustainable Shipping, Logistics & Supply Chain Summit & Exhibition 2019 on Thursday.
He said that it was heartening to see that sense has finally prevailed and Pakistan has now renegotiated its trade terms with the Chinese. The Chinese, in turn, have now been convinced that a significant increase in exports from Pakistan’s side is necessary in order to correct the gross imbalance in trade. “They appear convinced that the only way forward is to enhance trade on bilateral terms and with the notion that the Chinese would incrementally be placing export orders to Pakistan in different sectors henceforth, the logistics sector should now be prepared to handle a higher share of the load”, he added.
He was of the opinion that with the next phase of the CPEC projects focusing on agrarian development leading to formation of Joint Ventures (JVs) and Chinese transfer of technology, Pakistan needs to put its house in order with respect to enhancing its supply chain efficiency and plug in the gaps which have hitherto restrained Pakistan from exporting to its maximum potential.
“The main reason for Pakistan for being not able to enhance its fruits, vegetables and seafood exports is lack of proper warehousing infrastructure which includes cold chains, and cost effective transportation from farm/processing facility to the ports”, he added.
He said, “China is a leading seafood importer, and Pakistan should not remain oblivious to the huge market China, under CPEC, presents. It should rather take this opportunity as a challenge and put its best and timely resolve all issues hampering this sphere of development.”
He further stressed that Pakistan needs to develop industries in sectors like are meat, sea food, fresh fruit and milk processing, metal ores and concentrates, medical instruments and marble with the help of Chinese technical know-how and must have surplus enough to export these items to China and beyond.
Moreover, infrastructural improvement will encourage Greenfield industrial setups, but it is the focus on high tech and value additive industries that will provide the real platform for competitive trade in the global economy.
The private sector should come forward by forming Public Private Partnerships or form JVs with the Chinese, who have become quite adept in logistics, Junaid Makda said, adding that KCCI, on its part, was fully prepared to play its role as a facilitator and match maker in such partnerships owing to its critical role in Karachi’s business and its cordial relations with the Sindh government.