Augmenting chemical industry for economic stability

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Muhammad Adrees

Pakistan is such a blessed country which has been bestowed with all what a nation needs to mount. We are rich in natural resources; we have vast agricultural fertile lands, vast energy & water reservoirs, four seasons and hardworking human resource. Need of the day is to bind these potentials for the larger interests of nation. Visionary Leadership, guidance and concrete policies at various levels can transform our country into a well-developed state of this continent. Pakistan highly needs to develop chemical industry potential as it can throw in significantly to the economic stability and development of the country. It is very important to understand that the imports of chemical industries of Pakistan comprised of 17% of the total import bill which is considerably high and can be reduced by manufacturing surplus.
Pakistan has made substantial development in basic chemicals like Caustic Soda, Soda Ash, Bleaching powder, Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4) and Chlorine and has constructed sufficient production capacity of these chemicals to meet the needs of the local industry, while leftover is being exported.
The chemical industry of Pakistan is lagging behind due to some challenges and need to be countered as soon as possible. The main challenge is that it has to rely on its imports and foreign materials. It does not benefit the economy and results in production of expensive products. Secondly lack of industrial infrastructure and technology in Pakistan results in low production which could hardly meet the demand. Moreover the discriminatory approach of international community does not integrate Pakistan market into the world economy, therefore Pakistani products are not given much access to the global markets. Furthermore the lack of financial resources, energy shortages and weak trade policies also result in the weakening of chemical industry.
Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development authority of Pakistan must work towards incorporated approach by giving space and enough recourses to four different minds for instance traders, universities, research and development and production partners all together. In a short span of time these minds will come up with innovation in existing and new ideas. For this Pakistan must utilize its youth which has fresh mind and great ideas to enhance the chemical industry resulting in qualitative and quantitative excellence in the chemical products.
As a Chairman of Sitara Chemicals & Pakistan Chemical Manufacturing Association (PCMA) I must conclude that chemical industry of Pakistan is much competent to produce high technological chemical products. All we need is to do hardworking and sincere efforts in improvement of administrative capabilities, induction of new technology and support from government to put things in well organized and productive way.
—(The writer is Chairman &CEO Sitara Chemical Industries Faisalabad Chairman Pakistan Chemical Manufacturing Association (PCMA) Former President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (2015)