Govt asked to train labour for relocating industries


China’s decision to relocate part of its manufacturing sector to cost-effective locations should help Pakistan if it is able to chalk out a strategy and train labour force according to industrial needs, said Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Wang Zihai.

“China is witnessing an economic transformation, following Europe’s model of relocating part of its manufacturing sector to economically viable places that offered skilled labour at lower wages,” he pointed out while speaking at a think tank session held recently at the PCJCCI premises.

PCJCCI Senior Vice President Ehsan Choudhry said that the labour force should be equipped with technical training so that they could take advantage of China’s move. “Pakistan can make effective use of its unemployed manpower in the current scenario by providing technical training in industry-related works.”

Terming China’s move a great industrial transfer, which was bringing plenty of opportunities, he was confident that Pakistan could attract the Chinese manufacturing sector by developing a trained workforce for industries. “One-third of Chinese manufacturers of textile, garments, shoes and hats have already moved, either all or part of their production centres, outside of China.”

PCJCCI Vice President Sarfaraz Butt stated that around 40% of the major companies had planned to move factories from China to other locations, which included Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Citing statistics, he said Pakistan had the ninth largest labour force in the world, according to the Labour Force Survey 2013-2014, which totalled 57.24 million. Of this, 3.4 million people were unemployed, while many were employed in areas not relevant to their expertise.

Speaking on the occasion, PCJCCI Secretary General Salahuddin Hanif pointed out that the export of quality manpower was the main driver behind the growth of remittances, adding that the country had 60% economically active population that could increase productivity, if their services were properly utilised.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2022.

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