Karachi: NUTECH University Islamabad and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) plan to conduct a symposium regarding Karachi’s Industrial development. A delegation of NUTECH university visited KCCI today to discuss the plan for the symposium.

A delegation from NUTECH University Islamabad led by its Registrar Brigadier Dr Syed Adnan Qasim visited the KCCI to discuss the possibility of organising “NUTECH-Industry Joint Collaboration Symposium for Karachi’s Industrial Development 2021” in Karachi.

The delegates said the symposium’s topic was selected by keeping in view the significant role of Karachi ine economic development and the massive manufacturing, trade, and economic activities in this city. NUTECH has chosen Karachi for its next symposium.  They said that today’s meeting with KCCI was the first step followed by NUTECH’s symposium in Karachi that would eventually lead to setting up NUTECH’s campus in Karachi.

Registrar NUTECH Brigadier Dr Syed Adnan Qasim, while highlighting some of the salient features of the proposed symposium, informed that NUTECH intends to organise this symposium before Ramazan ul Mubarak which will have at least four sessions in which all stakeholders will be taken on board by ensuring immense participation of businessmen, industrialists and SMEs etc. from all seven industrial zones of Karachi.

He said that rising unemployment of educated youth, declining exports, struggling industry, the slowdown of the national economy and ill-preparation of the industry for the upcoming 4th industrial revolution were the major challenges of today, but it was really problematic and a matter of grave concerns that the majority of people at the helm of policymaking have no idea of the challenges and were unaware of the 4th industrial revolution.

He informed that NUTECH was created as a joint national project of the Federal Government, three Armed Forces and the Higher Education Commission, which is envisaged to transform a load-ridden economy into a real knowledge-driven one technology-based value-added exports. Many things have changed after the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lot of developments have taken place. A big transformation is going to take place globally, and we must become part of that transformation by focusing on import substitution and export enhancement through value-addition and technological skills, he added.

Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala, while extending full support and cooperation for the proposed symposium, nominated President KCCI Shariq Vohra as focal person for discussing all the modalities and design of the symposium.

Highlighting the problems being faced by the industries in Karachi particularly the export-oriented industries, Zubair Motiwala pointed out that exporters have been facing fierce competition from its competitors like India and Bangladesh, where the cost of doing business was much lower. “We, the exporters, suffer badly due to inconsistent policies and numerous other shocks like abrupt suspension of gas supply to industries, exorbitant regulatory duties on raw materials, high tariffs for gas and electricity which make our products uncompetitive in the international markets.”

He said, “In such a situation, we simply cannot compete with anyone as whenever our buyers hear about the suspension of gas, they fear that we may not be able to deliver the goods on time hence, our buyers are steadily drifting to Bangladesh, India and other countries which can be confirmed from the fact that the exports, after showing an upward trend for five consecutive months, went down by 4.5% in February 2021 and we fear more decline in subsequent months.”

General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, while appreciating the idea of organising NUTECH symposium in Karachi, stressed that NUTECH’s campus has to be established in Karachi on top priority which would undoubtedly improve the overall productivity and performance of the industrial sector of Karachi. “When most of the production, exports and imports were taking place from Karachi, it is really necessary to set up institutions like NUTECH in this city which is in the larger interest of the entire country as it is the business community of Karachi which not only feeds entire Pakistan but also earns the biggest chunk of foreign exchange through exports”, he added.

President KCCI Shariq Vohra, in his remarks, also underscored that the KCCI and NUTECH University will have to make collective efforts for establishing NUTECH’s campus in Karachi which was badly needed here as the majority of the manufacturing, imports and exports were being done from Karachi which is the financial, industrial, commercial and economic hub of Pakistan.

He opined that the Sindh government and the business community were the only two Karachi stakeholders; hence, not just the business community but also representatives from the Sindh government have to be invited to the proposed symposium to make it successful and result-oriented. “Keeping in view the 3rd spell of COVID-19 pandemic and a minimal time available for arrangements, the idea to organize this huge symposium before Ramadan needs to be reviewed”, he added.

The author is a senior business and economy journalist . He has worked for leading local and international news organisations.

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