SIALKOT -  Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Majid Raza Bhutta on Sunday urged the government to formulate a strategy for developing industry-academia linkages.

He said that industry-academia linkages had become more vital not only for modernisation of industrial sector but also for bringing innovation in products. Majid said that the government should take step for making it mandatory for universities to involve in research projects for development of new technologies and products and diversification of export basket, he said.

He urged the government to take step for setting up a Leather Promotion Council and tannery zones in leather clusters of Pakistan. He said that with the introduction of new standards by REACH and Leather Working Group (LWG), it is now being made mandatory for any business involved in leather products to ensure that necessary compliance is made right from the start of value chain which seems impossible to implement given the present scenario of the country.

He warned that failure to comply with such standards by 2020 would result in a major blow to the exports of leather industry of Pakistan, as all the market share would be lost to the competitors.