Lahore - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has invited Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) to organize an exhibition in Lahore on the patron of IDEAS which would help highlight the potential of Pakistan’s defence production industry.

The idea was given at a meeting between Director General Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) Maj. General Agha Masood Akram, LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Monday. LCCI Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion.

Maj. General Agha Masood Akram said that defence production industry of Pakistan has made momentous technological and innovative advancement and a special focus is being given on the export of defence products.

Maj. General Agha Masood Akram said that Pakistan has not only the ability to fulfill its domestic defence requirements but also cater needs of the world. He said that international community is surprised over the achievements made by Pakistan in the defence field.

He informed the participants that as a national platform, DEPO is providing active support to our defence manufacturing/service sector and the export chain through facilitation, coordination and promotion for sustainable growth of defence exports.

He said that DEPO is facilitating and Promoting export of defence products and coordinating marketing efforts with defence manufacturing sector by establishing Pakistani Pavilion in International Exhibitions abroad, holding of IDEAS in Pakistan and using its diplomatic channels

Director General DEPO said that Pakistan is trying to reach out to international defence products market with a view to enhance its exports and achieve a reasonable degree of foothold in the international market. This goal is being achieved by providing technologically compatible and cost effective solutions, thereby expanding the base of its customers.

He said that DEPO, in collaboration with Pakistan’s defence production sector (both Public and Private), is committed to provide a progressive response to ongoing developments in the world and to fulfill today’s technological needs, with tomorrow in mind.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder said that close linkage between Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) and chambers of commerce will greatly help in engaging private sector in defence production.

He said that in Pakistan, unlike other countries, defence sector is secretive. No information is available online and even concerned department is not fully updated on certain things. 

He said that India having almost similar circumstances is exercising open approach in this connection giving virtually full access to relevant information. For reference, “Make in India” website can be accessed.

Almas Hyder said that it is high time, Pakistan has to modify its approach and involve private sector in defence production. There are many items which are being manufactured in public sector that should be handed over to private sector.

He said that our private sector has acquired sufficient capability of producing quality products on CNC milling machines if they are provided with relevant designs, drawings and specifications etc.

He appreciated DEPO efforts to increase the participation of private sector in defence production but for that matter some projects should be devolved on priority basis. He said that latest figures related to global defence trade shows that almost 13.4% increase has been recorded in this sector.  He said that among the top 10 arms exporting countries, United States has the highest share with 31%.

He said that among the top 10 defence importers in 2014, Saudi Arabia overtook India to be at top of the list whereas Pakistan was ranked at 10th place.  Other countries with whom Pakistan has close diplomatic relations were China at 3rd, UAE at 4th, South Korea at 7th, Indonesia at 8th and Turkey at 9th places respectively.

The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that Pakistan can take some advantage of having good ties with these countries in order to get new export orders under defence cooperation agreements. Pakistan should focus on this forecast that one out of every seven dollars spent on defence imports will be spent by Saudi Arabia.

He said that Defence analysts believe that the Middle East is going to be the biggest regional market and there are opportunities worth dollar 110 billion in coming decade. He said that indigenization in defence sector is the need of the hour as it will not only reduce the cost of procurement but also build up the capability of local industry.

Nasir Saeed said that the defence-growth nexus can lead us to attain better economic growth rate and help increase the exports of the country. He said that there should be a clear policy stance on indigenization of all imported equipment. Similarly, some incentives should be offered to private sector to attract them. He said that there has to be a specified window/office/UAN for private investors so that they may contact and get information.