Khusro puts forward 4-point agenda for industrial cooperation among SCO states

APP29-160721 ISLAMABAD: July 16 - Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar addressing ministerial meeting of SCO at Ministry of Industries and Production. APP photo by Saeed-ul-Mulk

ISLAMABAD, Jul 16 (APP):Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar on Friday put forward a four-point agenda for industrial cooperation among SCO member countries, including launching of the study for finding industrial complementarities and synergies.

He also proposed establishing an SCO Development Bank and SCO Development Fund for providing financial base for industrial cooperation on IFC model, energizing SCO Business council for Business to Business interaction avenues and finding collaborative arrangement with newly proposed mechanism of energy ministers meeting for providing sound raw material base.

The minister was addressing the first meeting of Minister of Industries from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states in virtual format, a ministry press release said.

The meeting of the SCO ministers of industries is a new mechanism proposed by Tajikistan with an aim to foster deeper cooperation for economic growth.

Khusro Bakhtyar appreciated the launch of mechanism for industrial cooperation in the SCO framework, which, he said, would further the development agenda of the organization.

He underscored that the vibrant industrial sector of Pakistan with total number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) grown up to 5.2 million, had employed 65.5 million highly skilled labour force in construction, textiles, leather, footwear, surgical equipment, sports goods, automotive and light engineering sectors.

The availability of skilled labour force in such areas highlighted Pakistan’s competitive advantage and opportunity for attracting foreign direct investment, he added.

The minister also apprised the forum about promulgation of National Electric Vehicles Policy and Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy. The revised Automotive Development Policy and the new National SMEs Policy would expand the country’s industrial base.

He highlighted that the Pakistan Government was working to improve macro policy and regulatory environment, access to finance, skills and human resource, infrastructure development, entrepreneurship, innovation and incubation, business development services and local and international market opportunities for the SMEs.

The government, he said, had designed the “National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS)” to promote digital payments, SME finance and agriculture finance and promote financial inclusion in the country.

The minister reaffirmed the positive role of Pakistan for achieving shared objectives of common interest of member countries, and hoped the first meeting of industry ministers would provide a solid foundation for chalking out a new development model for regional prosperity.