SIALKOT - President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Zahid Latif Malik has said that SCCI is considering to establish 'Support Industry' to facilitate the business community.

For this purpose, a proposal will soon be submitted to the federal government for its approval and obtaining funds, out of Export Development Fund (EDF), he said.

Talking to APP on Sunday, he said that business would be able to obtain all kind of raw material under one roof.

He said the export sector of the country heavily relied on the import of raw materials especially from China for further value addition and re-exports, adding the practice adds to the cost of doing business and was a major contributor towards increasing import bill of Pakistan.

The SCCI president expressed the hope that the government would definitely support and provide funds out of EDF for the project, adding that setting up of Support Industry would a be a new addition in the industrial sector of the country.

Apart from, the government should encourage the businessmen and investors to invest in Support industry which would ultimately lead to import substitution of especially raw material utilized by local industry, he said.

Pakistan, he said, has seen many industrial surges where industries were established but no work had ever been done to invest in Support industry to complement the existing manufacturing set up of the country, he was of the opinion.

He suggested that investors both local and foreign should be encouraged to invest in support industry like accessories of textile and clothing, printing and packaging, etching and polishing chemicals used in surgical instruments industry and others.

The SCCI president also stressed the need of carrying out a detailed study by taking all chambers and associations on board for identifying the list of major supporting products which are imported from various countries.

The initiative should also be taken to attract investors including duty free import of equipment for setting up support industry, he added.

Zahid Latif Malik said the same policy should be applied in Special Economic Zones (SEPs) being established by the government under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative with a concept to promote import substitution.

He said that Sialkot was a significant contender where SEZ could be established by considering the strong industrial base of the city.