ISLAMABAD - The Engineering Development Board is functioning without any legal cover for the last 17 years. If government gives the board status of authority, it would play a better and more active role for the up gradation of engineering sector and for enhancing exports.
The EDB Chief Executive Officer Aitazaz A. Niazi in an interview with Pakistan Today said that the EDB is a bridge between the public and private sector enterprises. The board gives guidelines to people who want to set-up industry and facilitates them regarding latest techniques, and minimizing cost of doing business.
He said Pakistan’s exports of engineering goods including surgical instruments, cutlery and electric fans could go past $1 billion by introduction of standardisation and certification. He added that 98 percent of surgical goods manufactured in Sialkot are exported contributing $1.2 billion to the national exchequer. Foreign companies after buying the surgical goods from Sialkot market them under their own brands. He said foreign firms buy the same product in one dollar from Sialkot and sell it for ten dollars after adding a certification tag and brand.
Niazi said that by involving the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA), Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), EDB has made a bridge that would yield positive results. Efforts were under way for making the industry compliant with international standards and certifications.
Niazi said that the Fan Development Institute (FDI) is playing a key role in developing fans in line with international standard of safety and technology. Fan export make up four per cent of total engineering exports. He said $38 million in exports were earned during the fiscal year 2009-10. He said the export target for the current fiscal year was $50 million. He said PFUCNA code for standardisation for fan industry would prove helpful in making the quality of fans.
He said the proposal for opening material bank has been sent to the Ministry of Industry and is expected to be approved soon. He added that after approval the bank will be set up at Gujarat and manufacturers would able to buy state of the art material for assembling machinery. He said small businessmen would be the main beneficiary of this material bank.
He said that EDB has managed to establish linkages between 150 Pakistani companies with international engineering firms to enhance engineering exports and revenue. However, after 2005 EDB had not managed to lead any engineering delegation from Pakistan due to financial reasons.
He said Japanese automobile companies Toyota, Honda and Suzuki were working as a monopoly in Pakistan. He said EDB has played a key role in reducing the price of cars and assisting the manufacturing of spare parts within the country.
Regarding the energy crisis he said that EDB is working with the engineering industry on energy conservation plan to deal with the ongoing energy crisis in the country. He said for the purpose of energy conservation foreign experts were being called to give advice to the industries to promote efficient use of energy.