November 2 (Internews): An influential group of business
executives from multinationals and local companies in Pakistan has
expressed determination to convert the post-Sept 11 market crises into
opportunities for the country.
"Pakistan has resiliently met the most tough time of its history when
there were more than 150 sanctions imposed by the United States and
other countries," Qazi Sajid, the president of the Pakistan chapter of
International Personnel Management Association, says.
Speaking at a brainstorming meeting in Karachi, he pointed out that the
situation is getting better already, as the US has lifted all sanctions,
the European Union is offering concessional packages, Japan and other
countries are coming out with generous offers.
He also explained that multinationals in Pakistan operate in
coordination and collaboration with each other and with the government
of the day in 'times of distress.'
All these funds are being promised not only for expansion of trade and
industry but also to improve judicial system, implement police reforms
and make social sectors more effective than what they are now, Sajid
"It is an integrated approach for the first time that should lead to a
qualitative and quantitative improvement in the domestic market and to
give civil society a shape", he said. The IPMA is an international body
that functions in more than 50
countries of the world and focuses on human resource development in the
corporate sector. Its Pakistan chapter was launched only a few months
Arshad Qaimkhani of a leading private insurance company spoke on the
pressures on insurance business from war risk surcharges. He also
mentioned the anthrax phobia, which too, has hit the insurance industry.
Khwaja Matin of the pharmaceutical sector highlighted the problems being
faced by what he said was "quality conscious and organised pharma
sector" of Pakistan in wake of growing competition from the upcoming new
"There is no price control on inputs but the government has put tight
control on the output", he said while trying to emphasise that
pharmaceutical sector depends on the price factor decided entirely by
While there was an all round optimism, certain reservations were
expressed in case the war in neighbouring Afghanistan prolonged. "We are
already divided and a prolong war will deepen this division," a
The other participants were of the view that Pakistan's exports face
some problems, which need to be addressed by the government as well as
the business itself.
"The EU package offers a lucrative opportunity to the textile to
restructure itself and go for capturing market," one business executive
Another participant said that about $600 million had already been
invested in textile to modernise and restructure.
The EU package spread over the next four years offers further
opportunities to re-shape textile industry to the needs of European and
US markets, he added. -Internews