KARACHI - Chairman, Regional Standing Committee, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Ahmad Jawad Wednesday said that the establishment of fisheries processing centres was urgently needed in Gwadar. 

"The facility will not only add value to local fishery products, mainly seafood but also improve wellbeing of locals," he said talking to a delegation of Gwadar Chamber here. 

He said the government can help to overcome difficulties faced by fishing industry in the province before the Gwadar port is turned fully operational. 

This, Jawad said, was crucial for the country at large as it has the potential to become a major producer of seafood, not only for local consumption but also for the global market. 

"Moreover, nearly 400,000 people are directly engaged in fishing sector across the country while another 600,000 in the ancillary industries," said Ahmad Jawad. 

The FPCCI official said a full-fledged and a fair policy is also needed to facilitate million dollars fishing industry that can also help to increase country's dwindling export position. 

Jawad, with a vast experience in issues related to food safety and also in exports of food goods, said ineffective cold chain, low standards in traceability (tracking the supplier, date and time of transactions) are major hindrances in strengthening fishing sector. 

"It is because of these hindrances that an industry which can earn valuable foreign exchange and create a huge job market is presently contributory to a dismal one percent to our GDP," he said.