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 Friday said Gujranwala is the third largest industrial city of the country, after Karachi and Faisalabad and a centre for manufacturing fans, motor pumps, washing machines and many other export products.
There are around over twenty thousand industrial units in the district employing over half a million people but are deprived of Government’s interest, 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 complain that the authorities need to pay attention to their problems for smooth operations of industrial units, he added.
Industrialists 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 veteran 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, the former minister demanded.