ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has welcomed the Federal Cabinet’s decision to revive the Engineering Development Board as it would help in promoting Pakistan’s engineering industry and improving exports of engineering goods of the country.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the developed and fast growing economies like Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Turkey, Thailand and others have achieved phenomenal economic growth by promoting the exports of engineering products. However, Pakistan was mostly depending on traditional products including textiles and few other products for exports. But the share of textiles was on the decline in the global market while, the engineering goods constituted more than 60 percent of the world trade, which showed that if properly supported and patronized, Pakistan’s engineering industry could drive the economy towards fast growth by promoting exports of engineering goods.
He said that India’s exports of engineering goods during 2017-18 were over US$ 76 billion, but Pakistan’s exports of such goods during July-May 2017-18 were just around US$ 190 million, which showed our negligible performance in this sector. He said that the share of Pakistan’s engineering industry in overall global exports remained stagnant at around 4 percent over the last more than 10 years despite the fact that a government’s report has estimated that given the right policy and support, the export potential of engineering products at US$ 10 billion by 2026-27. He said the demand for domestic engineering goods accounted for 37 percent of the total import bill in 2015-16, which showed that the country has great potential for engineering goods in local market as well. He stressed that the government should bring in more professionals in EDB to further strengthen it.
Rafat Farid, Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, Vice President ICCI said that the Engineering Development Board (EDB) was mandated to project strategic development with a focus on modernization and technology upgradation, both for import substitution and export enhancement. However, the performance of EDB has suffered due to multiple factors. He stressed that the government should further strengthen the EDB and give it independence instead of placing it under ministries so that it could play leading role in modernizing and upgrading the domestic engineering industry. He was of the view that the key focus on engineering industry would drive Pakistan on the path of fast economic growth and marked improvement in exports.