Engineering goods export being encouraged

Updated January 25, 2020

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Abbas agreed to chalk out a plan for strengthening the local industry to enhance exports from this sector. — Reuters/File
Abbas agreed to chalk out a plan for strengthening the local industry to enhance exports from this sector. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan plans to enhance the exports of engineering sector over the next 10-years by encouraging the capacity of light engineering and consumer items already manufactured locally.

Engineering Development Board CEO Raza Abbas acknowledged the demands for a level playing field and incentives by certain industries as justified, but said the business community too should assure their contributions to enhance exports and revenues in the medium to long term.

In a meeting with the delegation of Pakistan Electric Fan Manufacturers Association (Pefma) here on Friday, Abbas agreed to chalk out a plan for strengthening the local industry to enhance exports from this sector.

Raza Abbas informed that under the “Make in Pakistan” strategy, the government was working towards enabling engineering sector to substantially enhance its exports from the current level of $1.3 billion over the next ten years.

This target can only be achieved if the focus is on identification of new and untapped markets, increase export of value added products, and make coordinated marketing efforts towards prospective customers, he said.

The PEFMA representatives apprised that the fan industry comprises of about 150 small and medium-sized units that employ around 20,000 people and their current exports were around $26m, which have declined over the past few years.

The delegation was informed that EDB has initiated tariff rationalisation exercise for budget 2020 and requested proposals from the industry before the end of the current month.

Pefma members informed the EDB that electric fan industry was facing a number of hurdles in exporting their products including restrictions by banks on third party payments, absence of common warehousing facilities in major markets, and shipment and duty drawback issues.

They also demanded the EDB that government extend support in tariff rationalisation at input materials, provide support and funding for common research and development activities as it cannot be undertaken by individual manufacturers and support the industry to incorporate and indigenise technologies like magnets which form the key component of DC fans.

The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority official informed about the registration of solar panels, fan industry/LED lights for energy efficiency standards labelling etc.

It was noted that provincial governments have issued instructions for volunteer registration of domestic fan industry to follow the NEECA labelling standards for energy efficiency of the products.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2020