The Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) has called on Saudi Arabia for joint ventures in the petrochemical projects for making the local chemical sector a self-sufficient industry.
Iqbal Kidwai—the PCMA General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer said that in response to the latest visit of the prime minister—Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi investors showed their interest for expanding their investment in Pakistan.
He said that the Saudi investment, along with its collaborative experience with the world’s multinational players of the petrochemical division could be very effective for the promotion of the petrochemical industry in Pakistan.
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Kidwai added that the chemical industry is what that forms the fabric of the present times, it converts the raw basic materials into more than seventy thousand various products not just for the industry but also for all the consumer items.
He stressed upon the extensive potentials which Pakistan possess in the sector of chemical manufacturing and processing and added that PCMA’s vision was to change the Chemical Industry of Pakistan from an import-oriented to an export-oriented Industry.
He said that owing to the absence of a naphtha petrochemical cracker complex in the nation, the down-stream industry of Pakistan was depending on the imports.
The chemical imports of Pakistan constitute nearly seventeen per cent of the total import bill, Kidwai mentioned and indicated that Pakistan was spending more than five to six billion dollars per year on the import of the chemicals with an average raise up to eight per cent in the coming years.
He indicated that in spite of having huge potential the sector could not be tapped to its maximum because of some significant constraints which include dependence on costly imports, high investment, lack of financial resources, energy shortages, lack of industrial infrastructure and weak trade policies—all these factors result in the slow growth of the chemical sector.
Kidwai added that these barriers could be overcome by a collaboration of Chinese, Saudi and Pakistani investors by sharing each other’s investment, knowledge and technology in the field of chemical industry.
He also asked the government to provide facilities to the local investors in terms of soft loans and foreign investors in terms of getting land and machinery for the production of value-added chemicals in Pakistan.