Lahore - President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday said that right and timely decision-making, honest and quality leadership and continuous improvement and moderation of policies to keep them relevant to continuously changing technological and business factors were vital for the country’s accelerated growth and development.

He said this while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Pakistan Chemical Expo: 2022 organized by the Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) here at Expo Center.

Addressing the ceremony, the president said that exponential changes were happening in the field of science and technology but unfortunately the decision-makers in the government and private sector were not fully geared to align themselves with the continuous and rapid improvements and developments being introduced in business, industrial, agriculture and services sectors.

He said that all branches of science like Chemistry, Physics, Biology and others converged during research and development to produce high-tech, high-value and optimally-tuned products in almost all sectors. He added that this necessitated the transformation of entire decision-making and implementation mechanisms of a country to adopt and implement new and ultramodern Artificial intelligence and Big Data based products and services on regular basis to remain relevant to the ever-changing market and business requirements.

He also called upon the universities to include members from top industries in their senates for fresh ideas and convene regular meetings to brainstorm and identify products and services which need to be invented and those existing products that need improvement to keep them relevant to the ever-changing demands of markets and the sophisticated needs and preferences of the customers around the world.

Alvi observed that Pakistan had made exemplary progress and development in the 60s and became a role model for many developing countries of the world. “We established Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan International Airlines and established many industries which ushered the country into an era of progress and prosperity but instead of building upon these achievements we not only slowed down but reversed many gains made by us which pushed the country into a backward direction,” he added.

The president emphasized that they need to identify the reasons for their national regression and by the lessons so learnt, they need to take corrective steps, pledge not to repeat the same mistake again and provide a strong basis required to push forward our country on the way to sustained progress and prosperity.

He added that unfortunately, Pakistan adopted a policy to export its human resources and thoughtlessly exported its quality, highly skilled and precious human resource to the developed world which deprived the country of the necessary intellect, knowledge and skills essential for the growth and development of the country. He said that this brain drain contributed to progress and development of their host countries. “We now need to rethink and reformulate this policy and take every step possible to retain and provide gainful employment to them which is imperative for keeping our country robust and strong,” he added.

In his welcome address, PCMA Chairman Jahangir Paracha said that they need Naphtha Cracking Plants as established by Thailand and Singapore while a separate business park over 3000 acres of land for all chemical related industries was also required. The establishment of naphtha cracking plant in Pakistan would help reduce import bill substantially and the indigenous manufacturing of industrial chemicals would facilitate the local industry at large.

He mentioned that chemical industry is the third fastest growing industry in the world. More than 70,000 products are produced with the use of different types of chemicals, and its volume in the global market is of US$5.7 trillion.

Paracha said that Pakistan’s chemical industry had a market of $20 billion and was providing direct and indirect employment to 600,000 people. This industry contributes around Rs200 billion to national exchequer. PCMA senior vice chairman Haroon Ali Khan said that two-day mega forum and the Expo was organized to achieve the objective of networking with global players and gaining exposure to global industry’s best practices. The event will feature the deployment of more than 100 stalls by the industry and academia.