rime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said automobile industry was the need of the hour for the country. This industry is passing through difficult phase but it would successfully manage and progress to its peak. “I hope Al-Haj FAW Motors Company shall turn this challenge into opportunity and capture the market,” he said.
He was addressing a function at Al-Haj FAW Motors Company on Saturday 10th November after formally inaugurating its automobile assembly plant, at National Highway in the vicinity of Port Bin Qasim, Karachi. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf congratulated Al-Haj FAW Group and the Chinese Consul General at Karachi on successful launching of this Pak-China joint venture in automobile industry with Rs.560 million investments. More than 1500 people are expected to get jobs there.
Prime Minister said private sector is the key to economic prosperity and development of a country and this government fully realized it. It is the policy of PPP-led government to promote private sector so that it can play a leading role in development and prosperity of the country. He said the government has been extending maximum support and facilities to private sector and offering many incentives to attract local and foreign investment.
Earlier, Prime Minister inaugurated Al-Haj FAW Motors Company’s automobile assembly plant and prayed for its success. He took a round of the plant along with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Federal Minister for Defence Syed Naveed Qamar and Chairman of Al-Haj FAW Group.
He said China is a great friend of Pakistan, its friendship is taller than the Himalayas and Chinese people are as sweet as honey. He suggested that automobile industry should enhance localization to reduce import of vehicles and hoped that Al-Haj FAW Motors Company would take a lead in this regard. There is no dearth of talent in the country, he added.
The Prime Minister, defending government’s policy of public-private partnership, said the country’s development and prosperity is only possible when “our businessmen prosper and progress. It is a great pleasure for me to see that our industrial group has started this very important automobile facility in partnership with China,” he remarked and hoped that this project would prove a milestone in automobile industry in Pakistan.
The government was ready to support experimental and innovative vehicles to make these affordable for the common man. The real success of this industry would be when the prices of vehicles would be very much affordable for a common man. He expressed the hope that local auto industry would come up with such a programme that would be based on price and fuel efficiency.
He highlighted the Government’s initiatives including approval of Auto-industry Development Board and providing non-tariff support to this industry. He said that a long-term policy for auto-industry was being chalked out to support this industry. Raja Pervez Ashraf said that Pakistan is blessed with all kind of resources including huge deposits of minerals, gas, petrol, rivers, sea, the best climate, strong agriculture base besides a large manpower. “Our people are hard working and have the spirit to move forward. They are bestowed with tolerance,” he added.
He emphasized that Irrespective of religion, caste and creed, we would have to strive for the country’s development and progress. He said democracy in the country was in transition and will take some time for its maturity. “We should always send positive messages and present bright view of our country to the world,” he stressed.
The Chinese Consul General at Karachi said that he felt great pleasure to see this automobile assembly plant. It would prove good not only for Pakistan but strengthen long friendship between China and Pakistan also. He expressed his satisfaction over increased economic cooperation between the two countries that have been complementing each others economy. He underlined the need for promoting cooperation in different sectors for mutual benefit of the people of both countries.
Al-Haj Group, after its successful business in automobiles, real estate and textile since 1963, entered an agreement with a leading Chinese automobile company named First Automobile Works (FAW) in 2007 for manufacturing and assembling heavy vehicles in Pakistan and it was named Al-Haj FAW Motors Company.
Chairman Al-Haj FAW Group Haji Shahjee Gul Afridi introduced FAW Group of China and claimed that it was the 3rd largest auto manufacturing company of the world. It was set up in 1953. For the first time, he said, Al-Haj FAW Motors Company launched Chinese trucks and hi-roof vans with unique properties in competition with Japan and other countries. More than 3,000 trucks were supplied to the local market during last five years.
He said that his company would provide free after sale service to the customers. They would soon launch cars at affordable price. The work on second phase (expansion) of the company was in progress. Afridi acknowledged the present government’s support especially from Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf for local auto-industries. He requested the Prime Minister to ban import of used vehicles to save local industry.
-Published on page#-16 in November-2012 issue of MOBILE WORLD Magazine