Realizing Punjab’s Potential | Political economics



he Punjab can be described as the production center of Pakistan. The province is home to a large number of industrial units. It also produces the largest amount of agricultural products in the country. Since the establishment of the state, it has been the main center of development. However, it still faces many challenges. Although the industrial landscape is expanding, Punjab does not produce enough skilled workers for new and developing industries.

It has become increasingly difficult for industries to import heavy machinery from abroad as it is expensive. Additionally, resource constraints – electricity, gas and water – have forced many industries to operate at half capacity or less.

Punjab should become a land of opportunities for investors.

Land is linked to vast value chains that span Punjab’s Special Economic Zones, Industrial Zones and Manufacturing Corridors. These meet not only the demands of the local population, but also regional and global demands through a network of global markets accessible by land, sea and air connections.

Several industries in Punjab offer great investment opportunities. These include urban regeneration and infrastructure, agriculture and food processing, value-added textiles and clothing, livestock and dairy, energy, irrigation, mining and minerals, as well as information technology and computer systems.

Punjab is home to a population of 110 million, 60% of whom are of working age (15-65). The literacy rate in the region is 66.3%. The province has abundant raw materials produced by its agricultural and mining sectors, some of which are processed in its industrial poles. The management of these industrial centers requires highly qualified human resources.

Punjab’s GDP is $162 billion. It has 10 special economic zones and 68,000 industrial units. It produces 60% of the country’s agricultural products, 70% of textiles and 70% of livestock. It is responsible for 55% of e-commerce operations in the country.

Punjab can easily be the next factory of the world due to its geographical location and endowments, institutional framework, connectivity, stable economic environment, modern infrastructure and full range of business opportunities. investment and entrepreneurship. These factors give Punjab a distinct advantage as an investment destination in the region. Not only does it provide an attractive opportunity for local investors, but also for foreign investors who are looking for a location that will allow them to maximize their profits and minimize their costs.

Foreign investors are allowed to own 100% and repatriate profits/remit capital, profits and dividends. The province has a friendly visa policy, strategic location, young and skilled workforce, tax incentives, competitive labor cost, rapid and continuous economic growth and export potential .

Dr. Ahmed Javed Qazi, Secretary of the Department of Industries, Commerce, Investment and Skills Development, has spearheaded many programs that will smooth the influx of investment into the region. In an interview, he talked about the establishment of industrial zones throughout the province.

Some of these estates are being set up in Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sialkot. In the agricultural sector, there is the introduction of fish farms in Chunian which will increase the production of high quality fish and fish products. Additionally, the Department of Commerce works to bridge the gap between industry and academia so that the right kind of research and development can take place.

Closing the gap will also allow universities to adapt their programs so that their graduates do not find themselves unemployed and industries do not have to hire foreign workers. The Punjab government has also established three technology-focused universities that will train future skilled workers. In addition, the Department of Commerce will facilitate the learning of 5% of university students.

The new industrial zones will allow industries to retain all their income as it will be tax exempt for 10 years. This should attract significant investment, as in many countries taxes take a large share of gross income.

The Planning Division worked with China, the Netherlands and Turkey to develop the most efficient network of systems to support the operation of industrial zones.

China is the flagship of efficient production and Punjab is following suit.

Many investment opportunities are available in Punjab for domestic and international investors. The next big global production hub is now an excellent time to invest. Here, industrialists will find cheap skilled and unskilled labor, easy loans, tax exemption programs, and a number of other incentives. However, the government must regulate carbon emissions.

The government should also move quickly to take meaningful steps to address any issues that discourage foreign investors.

The writer teaches development support communication at the International Islamic University in Islamabad. He tweets @HassanShehzadZ and can be reached at [email protected]

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