PIDE conference urges policy overhaul for Pakistan’s struggling automobile industry

Despite 50 to 70 years of protection, the sector has failed to export

Islamabad   -   Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) hosted a day-long conference on “Revitalizing Pakistan’s Automobile Industry: Moving towards Consumer Welfare, Global Integration & Sustainable Mobility”.

Representatives of Automobile Companies in Pakistan, Automobile parts manufacturers, policymakers and academicians participated in the conference, which was held in Lahore here on Sunday sharing their experience and knowledge regarding the issues and the future outlook of the automobile industry in Pakistan.

The conference was well attended by a large number of students from the local universities as well. The discussion at the conference was focused on three sub-themes, Localisation Obsession and Supply Chain Constraints, Policy, Reforms and Industry Development, and Electrification and the Future of Mobility.

Extensive and in-depth analysis and views were shared on all the themes by the experts, while students also actively participated in the discussion sessions as well.

Vice Chancellor Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Dr Nadeem Ul Haque in his opening address to the conference expressed that the primary agenda of this conference is to explore why Pakistan’s automobile industry is not progressing and to discuss strategies for its revitalisation.

“The aim of our institution is the economic prosperity of Pakistan, and this conference is a step towards achieving that by focusing on the automobile sector. The key issues to address include the reasons behind the lack of exports from the automobile industry, the delayed introduction of hybrids and EVs, and the future of the industry in terms of research and development,” he said.

He said that despite 50 to 70 years of protection, the sector has failed to export, which a significant concern is given the country’s economic crisis. He said that the objective is to have a constructive dialogue to develop policies and understand issues that will drive the development of Pakistan’s automobile industry.

Dr Nadeem concluded his remarks by reaffirming PIDE’s efforts towards always taking new steps forward, aiming to conduct research and stimulate debate on important topics as the goal is to foster real, productive conversations that lead to actionable outcomes for the sector’s growth and integration into the global market.

Later, the PIDE team presented the findings of their ongoing research on the state of the automobile industry in Pakistan and the future outlook. A second presentation focusing specifically on the potential of Electric Vehicles in Pakistan, as well as the challenges in its adoption was also presented by the PIDE team at the conference.

The participants lauded the work done by PIDE and also the organisation’s efforts to bring together all stakeholders to develop and promote a unified reform plan for the revitalisation of the automobile industry in Pakistan.

The message from the conference was clear Pakistan needs a policy shift if it wants to develop its automobile industry.

Senior Research Economist at PIDE, Dr Usman Qadir in his closing remarks expressed gratitude to all the attendees for their participation and feedback on this pressing matter.

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