Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) has appealed to political parties to include chemical industry development as a priority initiative in their election manifesto and economic agenda.
PCMA Secretary General Iqbal Kidwai, in a press statement issued here Friday, said that chemical industry alone had the capacity to make a colossal cut of US$14 billion in the trade deficit of the country.
He said that the chemical imports of Pakistan amount to over US$14 billion, which is almost 17% of the total import bill and each year there is an average increase of 7% on this account. On the other hand, the global chemical industry, at present, is a $4 trillion enterprise, which impacts nearly every sector of the economy.
The chemical businesses have prime significance in virtually every nation, driving innovation in six continents and supporting more than 20 million jobs.
Unfortunately, due to absence of even a single cracker complex, downstream industry of Pakistan is dependent on imports, whereas India had established its first cracker in 1992 and currently it owns eight crackers. Iran has been able to put in place seven, Singapore owns five huge capacity state-of-the-art crackers, Saudi Arabia owns 12, but, Pakistan has no cracker so far, he regretted.
Although, we have made considerable progress in basic inorganic chemicals like Soda Ash, Caustic Soda, Sulphuric Acid and Chlorine with sufficient production capacity; however, lack of availability of other chemicals including petrochemicals leads to dependence on imports which surely does not benefit the economy, the PCMA secretary general added.—APP