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LAHORE: The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) and the Engineering Development Board (EDB) on Tuesday signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration to develop Pakistan's Engineering Goods and Services Sectors.

Chairman EDB Almas Hyder and Chairman PBC Saquib Shirazi, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

CEO EDB, team members from both organizations and business community in large was also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Almas Hyder, who is also former President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said that both the organizations will work together for supporting the indigenous engineering sector to tap the potential of international trade in engineering goods and services.

He said that the global engineering sector presents a huge potential for Pakistan to expand its footprint as currently we only tap 0.04 percent of the approximately US 9 trillion dollars exports segment.

He further remarked that this exercise will create wealth for the country and increase our per capita income.

"If we ever want to reach $10,000 per capita or above, then agriculture and textile alone will not take us there. Engineering is the only sector which can race to a $5 billion export target in the next three years from its current base of approx $1.6 billion, taking Pakistan total exports to above $35 billion", he added.

Almas Hyder further stated that Engineering Development Board wants to evolve a policy framework in collaboration with the PBC, Chambers of Commerce & Associations and the MoU is an initiative in this regard.

Saquib Shirazi, Chairman PBC, remarked that this working relationship will concurrently boost the image of Pakistan and contribute towards improvement of the domestic market and exports by expansion of this value-added sector.

CEO EDB highlighted the objectives of establishing this general framework to facilitate cooperation between both organizations in specific sectors and complement each other's efforts in order to promote development of the engineering industrial sector of Pakistan and to make it the driving force of economic development.

He further briefed that the sectors for which the parties have initially agreed to work jointly include; Power & Energy, Capital Goods, Pumps & Motors, Surgical & Medical Devices, Cutlery & Kitchenware, Sanitary Fittings, Domestic Appliances, Fans(domestic & industrial), Construction and Building Materials.

The collaboration will focus on conducting sectoral and market expansion studies, identifying technology acquisition requirements for increasing productivity of the sectors, and determining certification and standards requirements of the industry, along with working for capacity building and skill development of the SME sectors.

The management of both the organizations have positive views that this relationship will synergize the efforts being made for making Pakistan a competitive hub for manufacturing and exporting engineering products in line with the vision of the present government. He hoped that the collaboration will expand in the future to other sectors, segments and activities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021