LAHORE   -  “Pakistan Railways will support local vendor industry and those parts, which can be produced in Pakistan, will not be imported,” said Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed at the Gala Dinner of Pakistan Auto Parts Show (PAPS) 2019.

He said that with 70 million commuters, Pakistan Railways can be a huge market for auto parts makers and invited PAAPAM to come and explore the opportunities of joint ventures. “Until and unless businessmen come in front we cannot address economic challenges,” he added.

Sheikh Rasheed also shared his vision and said every member of the society and organization should come forward to resolve the issue of unemployment. He said that auto industry has the potential of addressing unemployment issues.

Referencing his visit to Toyota Japan, he said that whole town was involved in producing some sort of products for Toyota, creating employment opportunities for whole town.

Meanwhile, Chairman PAAPAM Ashraf Sheikh said, “Pakistan Railways used to be a big customer for the automotive parts manufacturers. A lot of members have grown in size with the growth of Pakistan Railways in procuring auto parts from within Pakistan. But now the situation has been changed rather the Pakistan Railways rely more on imported parts. Similarly, a strong localization plan in shape of auto parts development policy needs to be in place so that more import substitution may be created.

Integration of PAAPAM members with international companies for joint ventures has become a need of the hour”.

Chairman PAPS Mashood Ali Khan said that minister’s cooperation on this subject will enlighten and pave ways for developing the local automotive industry to reach the desired levels of production. He said that utilization of industry on catching the need of the Railways to develop and repair the coaches lying unusable in the Railway yards.

He thanked all delegates and sponsors for making PAPS the largest auto show of Pakistan. He said that PAPS has become a brand and symbol of Pakistan’s automobile engineering and auto industry will soon serve as the launch pad of economic boost.

International exhibitors, members of PAAPAM, OEMs’ and government representatives were also present on the occasion.