Islamabad: Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar addressed to the first meeting of Minister of Industries from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states in virtual format this morning.
The meeting of the Ministers of Industries from SCO member state is a new mechanism proposed by Tajikistan with an aim to foster deeper cooperation for economic growth.
The Minister appreciated the launch of mechanism for Industrial cooperation in SCO framework and said that this step would further the development agenda of the organization.
While addressing, the Minister put forward four point agenda for industrial cooperation among SCO member countries including launching of the study for finding Industrial complementarities and synergies among SCO member states; establishing an SCO Development Bank and SCO Development Fund for providing financial base for industrial cooperation on IFC model, energizing SCO Business council for Business to Business interaction avenues and finding collaborative arrangement with newly proposed mechanism of Energy Ministers meeting for providing sound raw material base.
The Minister underscored the vibrant industrial sector of Pakistan with total number of SMEs grown up to 5.2 million and had employed a labor force of 65.5 million highly skilled labor force in construction, textiles, leather, footwear, surgical equipment, sports goods, automotive and light engineering sectors. He underlined that availability of skilled labor force in such areas highlighted Pakistan’s competitive advantage and opportunity for attracting foreign direct investment.
The Minister also apprised the forum about promulgation of National Electric Vehicles Policy and Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy. He said that the revised version of Automotive Development Policy and the new National SMEs Policy would expand our industrial base. He also highlighted that GoP is working to improve macro policy and regulatory environment, access to finance, skills and human resource, infrastructure development, entrepreneurship, innovation and incubation, business development services and local & international market opportunities for SMEs. He said that Government had designed “National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS)” to promote digital payments, SME finance and agriculture finance and promote financial inclusion in the country.
At the conclusion, the Minister reaffirmed the positive role of Pakistan for achieving shared objectives of common interest of member countries. He voiced a hope that first meeting of Industry Ministers would provide a solid foundation for chalking out new development model for regional prosperity.