LAHORE   -   “Consistent policies, localisation, government support and lower taxes will move Pakistan auto industry forward and contribute to the country’s growth,” speakers from auto industry shared these views while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Pakistan Auto Show (PAPS) 2019 at Expo Center. The show is being held from April 12 to April 14 at the Expo Center, by Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) where OEMs and auto part manufacturers are showcasing their products and expertise. Chairman PAPS 2019 Mashood Ali Khan said PAAPAM has always played a pivotal role to provide business and growth opportunities to auto engineering industry as a whole.

Senior Director Corporate Strategy and Regulatory Affairs, Indus Motor Company, Tariq Ahmed Khan said: “Pakistan economy has a promising future. With improved governance and fiscal policies, optimum utilization of natural resources and increasing skills of young dynamic human capital, shining place for Pakistan is not a dream. With lowest motorization levels of 18 per 1000, the potential of achieving 500,000 is not far away.”

“We are working to the best of our capabilities to realize the ADP 16-21 vision. But to achieve this vision, a vibrant domestic manufacturing industry is needed under conducive economic conditions,” he added. He urged the government to continue its consultation process with industry and remove barriers which are shaking consumer confidence. “One such barrier is 10% FED application on vehicle above 1700 vehicles,” he pointed out and requested for its removal to encourage local vehicle manufacturing.

Meanwhile, CEO, Kia Lucky Motors (KLM), Asif Rizvi said, “KLM stands fully committed to localization. The pace of localization may be a little slower but not because of the concessionary duty regime or a lack of desire to localize but only due to low volume at the start and simultaneous launch of multiple products not attempted previously,” he explained and requested the EDB to now link the very successful tariff based localization regime to volume, so that high technology products having low volume can be introduced viably. He said that in order to unleash this huge potential in the auto industry, Pakistan needs to take some measures. ”Today 30-38% of the value of a car assembled in Pakistan is collected by the government in the shape of various levies. While I cannot advocate lowering of duties on CKD kits only as this would have detrimental effects on the viability of localized parts, it can be advocated to reduce CKD duty and an equivalent reduction of duty on components that go into manufacture of local parts,” said CEO KLM adding that the safest reduction of levies would be in the form of reducing sales tax and FED.

“Government should take measures to increase volume so that the revenue is earned by smaller levies on larger volume, rather than larger levies on smaller volumes. The former also will serve to increase localization, employment and taxes,” he added. He also revealed that KLM was gearing up to start booking of vehicles in June 2019 and launch its SUV, KIA Sportage by August 2019 and 1000cc car KIA Picanto in October 2019.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Honda Limited, Saquib H Shirazi talked about the future of the auto industry and highlighted growth in recent years despite challenges. He said auto industry was a well structured employment provider and from remote area like Layyah, Punjab, to big cities it provides jobs to skilled and unskilled labour. He said that localization of auto parts reduces the cost and imports.

Chairman PAAPAM Ashraf Sheikh said that PAAPAM has been the striving year after year to attain a high level of expertise and bring to Pakistan and its exhibitors a world-class expo. “Through localization we can increase export. We have expanded our product profiles and sponsorship opportunities in line with the growing demands of our valuable exhibitors and sponsors, and this year I am more than excited with the offerings that we bring to the show this time around. We have 350+ members and providing employment opportunities directly and indirectly”, he said.