STAFF REPORT KHI: There is a desperate need to promote import substitution industries to Pakistan in order to save valuable foreign exchange, said member of National Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises (NCSME) Zulfikar Thaver.

“We are importing vast range of items, although some of them are manufactured in Pakistan and the domestic industry is facing very tough competition. Other items which are imported can be manufactured in Pakistan and every effort must be made to promote the manufacturers of imported items,” he said.

China is providing an opportunity through the CPEC to set up import substitution industries in Pakistan with Chinese collaboration and the SMEDA could facilitate the SME sector by understanding with their Chinese counterpart for collaboration and transfer of technology, Thaver explained.

He stated that in view of the global slowdown in commodities and decline in export, there is a need to overcome the situation of decline in exports and lessen the heavy reliance on import of many items.

He advised the policymakers to think ahead and plan accordingly to make Pakistan a self-sufficient country rather than importing goods.

“Pakistan is an agricultural country and enjoys the blessings of handsome rain, healthy seasons, fertile soil and good harvest of rice, wheat, maize, cotton, fruits and vegetables and human resources,” he said adding we have the capacity for value addition to our produce and are in a position to meet the global challenges of merchandise.

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