LAHORE (PPI) - The Advisor to the Prime Minister on Science and Technology, Dr Mohammad Ishfaq, has said that Pakistan's economic sector direly needs Research and Development and the government was utilizing all available resources to create awareness among the business community regarding the importance of R & D. Dr Mohammad Ishfaq was speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday, LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Muzaffar Ali, Vice President Shafqat Saeed Piracha and Chairman LCCI Standing Committee on Science and Technology Mian Fazal Ahmad also spoke on the occasion. The Advisor said that Pakistan has huge potential in all the sectors but it could not get its due place only because of lack of attention in R & D but now the situation has taken a positive turn as a large number of businesses after realizing the importance of Research and Development has started developing their own R & D cells. Dr Ishfaq said that the government was putting in all its energies to bridge the gap between the electricity demand and supply as the recent power crisis had jolted the whole industrial sector. He blamed the previous governments for ignoring the future needs of the people of this country. Had a little attention been paid in the past the situation would have been quite comfortable today. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Muzaffar Ali said that research and development is of paramount importance in business and industrial growth because the level of competition is rapidly increasing around the world. It is of vatal importance for global as well as domestic marketing where companies keep an eagle eye on competitors and customers in order to keep pace with modern trends and analyze the needs, demands and desires of their customers. The R&D investment reflects a government's or an organization's willingness to forgo current operations or profit to improve future performance or returns, and its abilities to conduct research and development. In a developing country like Pakistan, industrial R&D becomes more significant particularly at a time when the level of competition, production processes and methods are rapidly changing and advancing on the globe. It is also inevitable to cope with ever-increasing challenges to Pakistan economy posed by the free makets around the world today. He stressed the need for seriously focus on accelerating the industrial R&D through counselling and coordination with universities and R&D bodies in the country so as to meet the global economic challenges. The Chairman LCCI Standing Committee on Science and Technology Mian Fazal Ahmad said that absence of innovative R&D in business, industry and even agriculture had been responsible for very low fiscal reserves, lower GDP growth, low exports, increasing budget deficits forcing us to seek aid and loans even after the lapse of sixty years of our national life. He said a small country like Taiwan has over 200 billion dollar reserves much on the basis of innovative products through R&D. Had our planners and decision makers adopted policies of R&D culture, high value addition in industrial products & high literacy rate, Pakistan would not have faced economic crunch. In the ongoing free trade scenario under WTO, economy would not be able to sustain in the absence of innovative R&D in industry and agriculture. Our R&D institutions in the public sector have been looking to government funding for doing R&D, which has been very insignificant even less than 1% of GDP. Whatever funds they got, the R&D has not been based on market needs and global chllenges. In fact, if R&D in industry is commercialized and based on real needs of the industry and agriculture, both universities and R&D bodies would not need much of government funding and would be directly financed by the needy industries and business establishments through a match making process.