Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) is organising a two-day Public Private Partnership (PPP) seminar in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad from November 28 and 29, 2017. The seminar would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and addressed by renowned speakers of international repute.
Entrepreneurs, financial experts, engineers, policy makers and academia are expected to participate in the seminar. Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Major General Mahmood Hayat, Director General DEPO and Executive Director, SDPI, and Dr Abid Sulehri will address the inaugural session. Minister for Defence, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Education and Professional Training Baligh-ur-Rehman and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Sartaj Aziz will chair the sessions.
Dr Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to United Nations will be keynote speaker whereas Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Senate's Committee on Defence, Professor Dr Fazal Ahmed Khalid, VC UET Lahore, Lieutenant General Senator Abdul Qayyum (retd), Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production, Lieutenant General Syed Muhammad Owais (retd), former Secretary Defence Production, Engr Jawed Salim Qureshi, Chairman PEC, Zubair F Tufail, President FPCCI, Dr Sakib Sherani, CEO Marco Economic Insights and Ahmer Bilal Soofi, international law experts, Chairman FBR, Tariq Pasha and Professor Dr Khalid Ghaus, Chairperson SDDC will also address the seminar. Besides, local dignitaries, foreign experts would share their views on the export prospects of defence related products.
On Tuesday, Brigadier Waheed Mumtaz briefed the media that the key objective of the seminar was to organize a joint gathering of government, private sector experts and foreign dignitaries to assess the future for export of defence related products. He said such seminars provide a common platform to entrepreneurs, R&D specialists, financial experts, and policymakers to evaluate the entire domain of defence industry and its contribution towards overall economic development of Pakistan.
"Presently, Pakistan has no policy to export defence products. The seminar will provide a platform to formulate a much required strategy," he said. In reply to a question, he said that international arms trade was around $1.8 trillion whereas Pakistan's defence production is a very small industry with exports of about $270 million during 2016-17. The key product exported last year was Super Mishak. Pakistan should identify those markets which are competitive for us, and presently, private sector has increased its share in defence production, he added.
"Our products might not be competitive in the USA or European markets which is why we have to look into African or Asian region where Pakistani products are competitive," he continued. He gave the example of Al-Khalid Tank which is a success story.
He said there were assumptions that Saudi Arabia would procure Al-Khalid Tank, which did not happen. He argued that when hardcore business is being considered words like Muslim Ummah do not work. "When other countries sell arms to those countries we have to think why we cannot. Other countries top brass visit the buyers. We have to think whether we have such support from our government," he added. Earlier, Commodore Tahir shared the detailed programme of the seminar with the media.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017