Pakistan’s first ever PetroChemical symposium took place in Islamabad. Speakers at this ground breaking symposium highlights the potential of this segment and urge the government to give a well thought out long term and transparent policy to attract utilize the mega investment in PetroChemical sector to create jobs and provide imports substitution to help save forex reserves. PetreChemical Symposium is hosted by Corporate Pakistan Group. ACCA was the Co-host. Symposium is supported by Board Of Investment, Pakistan, OICCI, Pakistan Business Council, PCMA.
Experts and government functionaries while speaking at the inaugural session of this symposium titled ‘Petrochemicals a game changer’ speak at length about the economy of Pakistan and how it benefits through large scale industrialization. Federal Minister for finance & revenue Shaukat Tarin speaking at the symposium said ‘’ In the decade of 1960s, Pakistan was among the fastest growing economy. Unfortunately massive nationalization and deindustrialization followed by Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan & Russia’s war hamper the country. Pakistan suffer another setback when it enter into war on terror. These steps jolted the economy and halted its progress ’’
Mr. Tarin further said ‘’ From a period 2008 to 2018, structural reform required to boost the economy were not taken. Pakistan’s tax to GDP ratio, its saving ratio and its balance in exports and imports are unsatisfactory. Pakistan needs sustainable development and to achieve this, we need to remove the imbalances in our economy. China intends to transfers it’s industry and we are facilitating them by providing them incentives in setting up industries at Special Economic Zones. Pakistan’s Information Technology Section which is 47% at the moment is growing at the rate of 74% this year. Pakistan’ SME sector need facilitation and access to finances. The surplus electricity is also a burden on the economy. ‘’
Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce & Investment said ‘’ Pakistan need to set up industries which facilitate in reduction of imports. Pakistan should nor rely of textile exports only and it needs to find alternate export sector to progress. Textile sector exports growing at 35% whereas exports of IT sector is increasing at 74%. ‘’ Advisor to Prime Minister Mr. Dawood further said ‘PetroChemical and steel sector are mother of all industries. We have to structure tariff, duties and taxes for setting up a progressive and successful petrochemical industry.
Mr. Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Chairman Board Of investment said ‘Petroleum policy of Pakistan is in its final stages.
Mr. Khalid Mansoor, Special Assitant to the Prime Minister on CPEC Affairs while speaking at the symposium said ‘’ Pakistan import approximately US $ 3 billion petrochemical products and their demand is increasing between 5% to 7%. Pakistan needs US $ 4 billion to set up a petrochemical plant. He revealed that China’s investors are also interested in making investment in Pakistan’s PetroChemical sector. Mr. Mansoor in his concluding remark highlighted that Pakistan need industrialization for progress. We have to device strategy to reduce imports and increase exports. This will help in job creation at massive level.
Mr. Ghias Khan, President OICCI while expressing his views said ‘’ Pakistan and Bangladesh are the only two countries of region devoid of any petrochemical industry. Plastic industry is vital as plastic is used in various sectors including automobiles, health, telecom etc. The consumption of petrochemical products in Pakistan reached a level where we require to set up a huge Petrochemaical plant. To achieve this goal, we need the same incentives and protection which are provided to the textile sector. Pakistan needs to develop long term incentive based Petrochemical policy’’
Participants in a session titled ‘PetroChemical Road Map for Pakistan’ said that PetroChemical plants are becoming bigger and more expensive. To set up a petrochemical industry, huge investment is required. To substitute imports, Pakistan needs PetroChemical industry. To set up such industry, transparent and competitive tax incentives and tariff policies are required. Investors need continuation of policies and policies should not change with the change of government. If the petroleum policy announced today the plant can be commissioned in 4 years’ time. After Corona, freight charges increase made exports expensive. The infrastructure in Pakistan including electricity tariff are very expensive. PetroChemical industry demands incentives to compete at global level.
Mr. Suh Sangpyo, Ambassador of Republic Of Korea To Pakistan said that Korea adopted the Pakistan’s 5 years plan for its economic development. Korea’s government give business friendly policies and tax incentives. He further said that in Korea, PetroChemical contribution in overall instry is 6%. This sector can play active role in Pakistan’s development also. He proudly reveals that Korean companies are involve in construction of dams and making smartphones in Pakistan. Mr. Sangpyo is confident that in future friendship between Korea and Pakistan will strengthen further. PetroChemical symposium concluded with a commitment that government and private sector will work hand and gloves to set up PetroChemical Industry in Pakistan