February 27, 2017
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said Gujranwala is the seventh largest city in the country and a main industrial hub which should not be neglected anymore.
There are around over ten thousand cottage industries in the district employing over half a million people and contributing nine percent to the GDP but it is deprived of proper attention by policymakers, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that apart from grains, sugarcane, melons, cotton and rice, the city produces woollen textiles, vegetable oil, industrial machinery, fans, washing machines and other electric goods, poultry feed, soap, rubber tire and tube, metal and melamine utensils, cutlery, kitchenware, ceramics tiles, sanitary wares, sanitary fittings and steel pipe.
However, the owners of SMEs and cottage industry complains that the authorities listen to big industrialists while no heed is paid to their problems, he added.
Entrepreneurs say that their competitiveness is constrained by bureaucratic red tape, corruption, inadequate industrial infrastructure, policy instability, access to financing and severe energy shortages which make the area a less attractive destination for investment.
The business leader said that the city is exporting washing machines, fans, gas appliances, plastic furniture, cookware, sanitary-ware, fittings and several other products to more than 24 European, African and Arab countries which can be increased if policymakers decide so.
Wide gap between the government and the SME sector should be bridged to benefit from the true potential of the city, he demanded.