LAHORE: The Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) has been able to bring in over Rs 150 million investment in the province while it is aiming at achieving the target of Rs 4.50 billion mark in the next five years reducing import and increasing exports.
These views were expressed by PIBT Chief Executive Officer Jahanzeb Burana while talking to Customs Today the other day.
According to the CEO, the PBIT has been working since 2009 and is a typical investment promotion agency. He said that Punjab was the largest province of the country, with 55-60 percent share in the whole of the economy. Hence an Agency like PIBT was needed to raise investment, the Burana said, adding that the basic objective of the PBIT is to bring foreign investment in Pakistan and also encourage the local investors to invest in the province.
“In order to encourage investors from local investors, other provinces, countries, I have adopted a proactive strategy of trade to vie with the competitive global market where we are to sell our products. We will have to be competitive in terms of cost and quality to match the demand of international market for which we are evolving a comprehensive trade for the next five to ten years,” Jahanzeb Burana said, adding that this is important as we have to analyze that where we are going to stand in global market in upcoming years depending upon our export baskets.
“Among the top items in our export basket are textiles and other commodities and world is such a dynamic place today that even Africa is competing textiles and commodities. So now we have more players coming in competition probably with better cost and quality structure and still there is a lot more competition yet to come,” the PIBT CEO said.
He was of the view to stay in the market with such tough competition; we will have to design our strategy and the key component of PIBT strategy is that it has to make it sure that our export basket evolves, that is, we shall not be selling the same goods that we are selling today. We must introduce a variety of value added goods.
Quoting an example he went on to say that here in Pakistan, we are still using traditional ways of watering our crops, that is, tube wells and flood water. Now water shortage problem is an issue faced worldwide. So, when we export a kilogram gram of our rice, we are giving a gallon of water for free as in India buys the same rice from Dubai, packs , labels and sell it at a three times high price. So we need to start value adding and branding our goods as relying on plain prices of our exports is insufficient to meet our needs, Jahanzeb Burana concluded as saying.