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Khusro Bakhtiar attends meeting of SCO Ministers of Industries

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar addressed the first meeting of the Minister of Industries from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States in virtual format on Friday.

The meeting of the Ministers of Industries from SCO Member State is a new mechanism proposed by Tajikistan with an aim to foster deeper cooperation for economic growth.

The minister appreciated the launch of the mechanism for Industrial cooperation in the SCO framework and said that this step would further the development agenda of the organization.

While addressing, the minister put forward four-point agenda for industrial cooperation among SCO Member Countries including the launching of the study for finding Industrial complementarities and synergies among SCO member states; establishing an SCO Development Bank and SCO Development Fund for providing a financial base for industrial cooperation on IFC model, energizing SCO Business council for Business to Business interaction avenues and finding a collaborative arrangement with the newly proposed mechanism of Energy Ministers meeting for providing the sound raw material base.

Khusro Bakhtiar underscored the vibrant industrial sector of Pakistan with the total number of SMEs grown up to 5.2 million and had employed a labor force of 65.5 million highly skilled labor force in construction, textiles, leather, footwear, surgical equipment, sports goods, automotive and light engineering sectors.

The minister underlined that availability of skilled labor force in such areas highlighted Pakistan’s competitive advantage and opportunity for attracting foreign direct investment.

The minister also apprised the forum about promulgation of National Electric Vehicles Policy and Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy. He said that the revised version of Automotive Development Policy and the new National SMEs Policy would expand our industrial base.

The minister for industries and production also highlighted that the government of Pakistan is working to improve macro policy and regulatory environment, access to finance, skills and human resource, infrastructure development, entrepreneurship, innovation and incubation, business development services and local & international market opportunities for SMEs.

The minister said that the government had designed the “National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS)” to promote digital payments, SME finance, and agriculture finance and promote financial inclusion in the Country.

At the conclusion, the minister reaffirmed the positive role of Pakistan for achieving shared objectives of the common interest of member countries. He voiced a hope that the first meeting of Industry Ministers would provide a solid foundation for chalking out a new development model for regional prosperity.

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