AGL 23.81 Decreased By ▼ -0.54 (-2.22%)
AIRLINK 103.60 Increased By ▲ 0.60 (0.58%)
BOP 5.66 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.88%)
CNERGY 3.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.76%)
DCL 8.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-1.65%)
DFML 41.70 Decreased By ▼ -1.29 (-3%)
DGKC 88.30 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-0.67%)
FCCL 22.70 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
FFBL 40.88 Increased By ▲ 2.68 (7.02%)
FFL 8.96 Decreased By ▼ -0.15 (-1.65%)
HUBC 160.49 Decreased By ▼ -3.21 (-1.96%)
HUMNL 11.46 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-2.88%)
KEL 4.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.62%)
KOSM 4.09 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.97%)
MLCF 38.60 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (0.49%)
NBP 53.60 Increased By ▲ 0.75 (1.42%)
OGDC 130.60 Decreased By ▼ -2.29 (-1.72%)
PAEL 25.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.29 (-1.13%)
PIBTL 6.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-2.04%)
PPL 118.90 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-0.5%)
PRL 23.95 Decreased By ▼ -0.65 (-2.64%)
PTC 12.92 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (2.22%)
SEARL 59.11 Decreased By ▼ -0.49 (-0.82%)
TELE 7.43 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.8%)
TOMCL 34.99 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.46%)
TPLP 8.72 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-1.47%)
TREET 15.90 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.63%)
TRG 55.95 Decreased By ▼ -1.95 (-3.37%)
UNITY 34.95 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.17%)
WTL 1.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-1.64%)
BR100 8,536 Decreased By -8.5 (-0.1%)
BR30 27,187 Decreased By -204 (-0.74%)
KSE100 79,944 Decreased By -48.3 (-0.06%)
KSE30 25,500 Decreased By -43.9 (-0.17%)

Finland Pakistan Business Council (FPBC) Chairman Wille Eerola said on Thursday that the biggest problem facing Pakistan economy is low exports and the subsequent current account deficit and “this will persist unless the country stops projecting its products with the unique selling proposition of being the ‘cheapest’”.

Despite the country’s efforts to reduce imports before the beginning of the ongoing fiscal year, Pakistan’s trade deficit stood at $21.3 billion during the first eight months (July-February).

“In Finland, nobody cares if you are selling the cheapest products,” Eerola told Business Recorder. “They would care if you are selling something unique. Pakistan needs to find its niche.”

Eerola, who is also Honorary Consul General of Pakistan to Finland, criticised the country for failing to promote itself in the world, especially in destinations like Europe.

“Finnish are among the most knowledgeable people in the world and they know nothing about Pakistan. This proves that something is amiss.”

“Their perception only gets debunked when they come here and see the potential of Pakistan,” he said.

‘Pakistan needs a paradigm shift in its mindset’

Eerola was flanked by Ezzat Natsheh, an official of Finnish company KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, during the interview.

Natsheh, who is a Jordanian, said Pakistan must change its mindset.

To summarise Natsheh and Eerola’s take on Pakistan’s flawed business approach, they called upon the country to do away with its ‘seth’ mindset that motivates businessmen to transfer decision-making of a company to family members. By doing this, they kill the chance of entrepreneurial skill development in the country, they said.

“This is the mindset keeping Pakistan behind. Despite the fact that Europe may have an edge in producing top quality chocolates, I bet nobody can beat Pakistan in producing top quality mango chocolates because the country grows the best mangoes in the world,” said Natsheh, who is the Business Development Manager of KONE in the Middle East.

“You can always find a niche. You can always add value.”

‘Businesses don’t like surprises’

In 2022, KONE had annual sales of 10.9 billion euros with an employee count of over 60,000. KONE operates in Pakistan through a distributor.

When questioned if KONE was considering investing in Pakistan, Natsheh responded with a clear no.

“When a business looks at a country for investment, the first thing they see is if they can take profits out of the country to pay dividends. That is not possible in Pakistan.”

“Businesses need clarity, stability and most of all, they don’t like surprises and there are many in Pakistan,” he said.

He said that KONE would want to manufacture in Pakistan but the current circumstances won’t allow it to do so.

“If there was clarity, stability and no surprises, Pakistan will be a beneficial destination for businesses to invest in.”

“The availability of manpower, skills, scale and the geographic location of Pakistan is ideal. It has a port in Karachi. What’s so special about Dubai is that it harnessed its good location not just into regional but a global hub. Karachi’s port is far older than that of Dubai but Dubai had the vision and they built it.”

“There is a lot of advantageous manufacturing here. There’s all Central Asia and Eastern Europe,” he said.

Wille Eerola said that Pakistan should uplift its image for the global companies to invest here, which unfortunately it hasn’t for years.

Meanwhile, Eerola said that international businesses are interested in Pakistan despite the fact that it was going through an economic crisis.

Talking about Finland’s economic crisis in 1992, he said that the country came out strongly and cited the example of Nokia, which became the biggest mobile phone company by 1998.

“Pakistan will come out of this crisis just as Finland did however, I don’t see any similarities to Finland because hotels and supermarkets are full,” he said.

He saw strong relations between Finland and Pakistan and added that ties were strengthened during such times.

FPBC has recently organised business summits in Islamabad and Karachi to help expand the bilateral trade and business between Pakistan and Finland.

More than 20 Finnish companies have participated in these summits, which are also attended by Pakistani business persons.

Comments

Comments are closed.

KhanRA Mar 16, 2023 09:29pm
Pakistan has a bad image. We are seen as backwards. We cannot expect investment, respect, and friendships while we had our terrorists, criminalize gays, and oppress women. This is a fact.
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Hamdard Pakistani Mar 17, 2023 10:20am
Ture
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Fouzi Mar 17, 2023 10:34am
even SMEs in Pakistan are not satisfied by the existing tax laws which give favor to upper business class, the port operations,law and order and they are ready to fly
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Madiha Sultan Mar 17, 2023 06:34pm
We actually make incredible chocolate!! I’d like Ezzat Natsheh to visit Lals and try our chocolates.
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Power Master Mar 17, 2023 09:14pm
Pakistan biz fraud. Have bad reputation. Cheapest won't work. It's run by criminals
thumb_up Recommended (0)
SAMIR SARDANA Mar 17, 2023 10:48pm
NO PAKISTANI EXPORTER IS SELF SUFFICIENT IN POWER AND GAS WHICH MEANS THAT LACK OF POWER AND GAS, AND ITS PRICING ,IMPAIRS PRODUCTION PLANNING AND CONTROL - WHICH IMPACTS COSTS AND SALES PRICING, AND PROFITS. ON TOP OF THAT IS THE LOGISTICAL ISSUES AND COSTS THIS IS ALL KNOWN TO THE IMPORTERS OF PAKISTANI PRODUCTS, AND THEY USE IT TO REDUCE THE FOB RATES . BUT ALL THESE PROBLEMS AS ABOVE,ARE CAPTURED BY THE PKR RATES - WHICH IS AN EXPORT SUBSIDY.,AND ALSO IN THE LDC STATUS,WHICH IS A REVERSE PTA SO INDIRECTLY PAKISTANI EXPORTERS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE AND THE BUYER IS GETTING A LOW PRICE IMAGINE PKR AT 120 ,WILL PAKISTANI EXPORTERS HAVE THE SCALE, TO MATCH PRC/PINO COST OF EXPORTS ? AND AT 120, PAKISTAN WILL LOSE,THE LDC STATUS. IT IS ONLY IN THE ITES,THAT PAKISTAN CAN BE INSULATED FROM THE POWER/GAS AND INFRA WOES OF PAKISTAN.IN MANUFACTURING THE IMPORTERS IN EU,WILL HAVE AN UPPER HAND, IN PRICING NEGOTIATIONS.SAMIR SARDANA
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Tulukan Mairandi Mar 18, 2023 12:18am
How about the fact that Pakistan-made garments for international brands, found in USA and EU, had notes on their labels (presumably by Pakistani factory workers) glorifying terrorists and abusing the west / non-muslims?
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Hujjathullah M.H.Babu Sahib Mar 19, 2023 12:18am
Both Eerola and Natsheh made some very pertinent points regarding Pakistan's poor economic and commercial marketing and strategic potential. But they also made it sound as if producing cheapest is a sin. As a country with a high percentage of people in the poor band it would be highly irresponsible to just churn out high priced high end products. You dont run a country just serve the elites of the world. Had China followed that model it would have rotted like many Western European countries it would not become an emergent superpower ! So a balanced mix of high-priced and low-priced items in as many products as possible is best, I guess!
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Abdullah Mar 19, 2023 12:39pm
Quality is what we pakistanis lack.We need our men to man up and stop acting like babies.
thumb_up Recommended (0)