KARACHI: “We estimate that future drivers of country’s economic growth are agriculture, industry, mineral & mines, IT, maritime, ports, shipping, transport and other supply chain management,” said Ateeq ur Rehman, economic & financial analyst.

He said unfolding the truth, our ports, shipping, transport and other supply chain management factors are not performing well. We need to develop our ports and its infrastructure, developing the berths for mother vessels, storage space aces at ports, container yards and handling machinery, etc.

He added that the link/ ring roads are necessary for avoiding the congestion at the ports and for easily manoeuvring the movement of speedy traffic towards up country.

Discussing shipping, we have a dearth of our own flag carriers as we own very few ships. PNSC is doing a highly appreciable work and needs to be supported by government, as well as, by private sector for growing the number of vessels hoisting national flag and reducing the massive cost of shipping/ fare. Thus, it could be a great source in increasing our exports and boosting our national income, too, he said.

Further, there is a dire shortage of refer containers in the country and they are enormously expensive, too. Unless we overcome the shortage of such containers, it is very difficult to meet our export targets, said the economist.

We are an agricultural economy without the easy access to refer containers, the exports of vegetable, fruits, rice, seafood and other perishables sometimes becomes difficult and impossible, he said.

Overland transportation is also getting so expensive day by day that it has become a nightmare. Unless we are able to reduce the cost of transportation, we will not be successful in overcoming the Inflation. From farm to market or industry to market, the cost of moving is so high that it is agonising, said Ateeq.

In the past storage spaces in shape of warehousing were quite limited as “Converters” – the sick industry eventually was converted into warehousing space. But with the passage of time there has been a tremendous development in “purpose-built warehouses” of which over the years the rental has become unbearable thus the cost of doing business has become very high, also pushing up the cost of production/ consumer goods/ FMCG, he said. “For sure, these supply chain management factors need support of the authorities amid rising global economic uncertainties.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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