Experts Demand Out-of-the-Box Solutions for Industrial Revival in Pakistan

Sun Nov 26 2023
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FAISALABAD: While the world is embarking on the Fifth Industrial Revolution (5IR) with ample use of artificial intelligence (AI), Pakistan is still struggling to rise up to this challenge from existing 2IR or 3IR.

Amidst persisting economic recession due to problems like power and raw material price hikes and interest rates, Pakistan, once reckoned among the top 10 textile countries, is now facing the challenge of its sheer survival.

Experts believe that respective governments and industrialists were collectively responsible for the poor situation of the country, resulting in shut down of industries or producing costly products, unable to compete in international markets.

Political instability, use of old technologies and, failure to capture more of the world market, and non-consistent policies had been other factors hampering industrial growth.

This tendency also slowed down economic progress, causing issues like unemployment and a dearth of foreign exchange.

Founder President Faisalabad Chamber of Small Traders and Industry Muhammad Shafiq Anjum said that revolution is a far cry as by the time we are just struggling to keep our industrial sector alive. Our small and medium industries are in real fix with around 70 percent of power looms closed down in Faisalabad.

Industries’ Situation in Pakistan

He said that flour mills shrunk to around 50 percent, and the same was the case with other industries. High markup rate and fuel rates, besides other factors, had spoiled our industrial sector.

He demanded holistic and consistent policies for at least a decade by involving all stakeholders to encourage local and foreign investors.

Senior Vice President FCCI Dr Sajjad Arshad said that political uncertainty as one of the main causes behind the recession, besides rising interest rates and fuel rates and the use of old technologies.

He said that the paucity of funds and the cost of doing business was skyrocketing, making Pakistan’s exportable items too costly as compared to other nations.

He said that Pakistan could only keep up the pace if it switched to new technologies, provided cheaper energy, ensured easy financing, and encouraged SMEs.

Hundreds of industrial units in Punjab have been closed down, and their revival would be a difficult task for any upcoming government. Pakistan needed revolutionary and out-of-the-box solutions to revive this sector, he added.

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