The government of Pakistan is seriously thinking to boost the auto industry and it will remove hurtles to investment in the industry, said Commerce Minster Humayun Akhtar Khan.
During a visit to the Pak Suzuki Motor Company here on Tuesday, he said: ‘The government of Pakistan wants the local automotive manufacturing and vending industry to grow further and attaches a great importance to their active contribution to the economy of Pakistan and as a major source of employment.’
‘I will solve the matter of imported used cars on urgent basis and the measures are of temporary nature to combat the current problems. The government, by any means, is with the local manufacturers and vendors’ he said.
He said as a sincere and important supporter of the industry, he strongly advocated for the support of government to maintain policies conducive to the survival and growth of both automobile manufacturing units and the SME’s serving as vendors to the principal manufacturing units.
He praised the efforts made by Pak Suzuki in the motorization and the industrial development of Pakistan through localization. The future captive investments being made by the company in the expansion of facilities would produce more than 110,000 units in 2006, he said.
The consistent and bold economic policies of the government had started yielding results in the shape of growth in this vital sector of the economy, which could be seen today being reflected in the confidence of foreign investors in the government.
The threats posed by the WTO and elimination of TRIMS were to be taken as challenges to a population of more than 150 million people and an average 6.5 percent GDP growth and gap in the average per capita ownership of vehicles with the world average were to be exploited to the advantage of the country, he said.
Mr Khan praised the efforts of Pak Suzuki and said Pak Suzuki was fully alive to the environmental needs of the society and had invested more than Rs 40 million for waste water treatment plant. The company is the pioneer in introducing green fuel CNG vehicles in the country.
‘The government of Pakistan sees the automobile industry as a nursery for nurturing the SMEs required to support the poverty alleviation plans of the government and the government is ready to provide necessary support wherever possible within our international commitments,’ said the minister.
Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and CEO Pak Suzuki, said that they would continue to contribute to the industrialisation of the economy of Pakistan through motorisation, bring in new technologies in the country by providing state-of-the-art vehicles in both CBU and CKD conditions.
He said they would also motivate Pakistani / foreign vendors for industrial collaboration in the hi-tech components manufacturing fields to further increase the localisation ratios and further enhance product-mix and production capacity to meet the incessant domestic demand and tap the prospective foreign markets for exports.
‘With the liberalised import and no check of used cars, the wheels of economic and technological growth are turning back and forcing the manufacturers and vendors to hold their planned investments of over Rs 80 billion in capacity expansion projects,’ said the MD.’ As a chain reaction, more than 200,000 people may lose their jobs.’
He said the contributions to the GDP, investment and government revenues would significantly be reduced and car financing and the financial sector would be adversely affected