In this episode of Pakistonomy, Uzair talks to Jahangir Piracha, Chief Executive Officer of Engro Polymer & Chemicals, about the company’s business, how its products are helping transform Pakistan’s construction industry, and why a petrochemicals policy is needed to attract increased investments in Pakistan.
Jahangir Piracha is the Chief Executive Officer for Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited. In his most recent role, Jahangir was serving as Chief Executive Officer of Engro Vopak Terminal Limited and Engro Elengy Terminal Limited since March 2017. Earlier, he served as the Chief Executive Officer for Engro Powergen Qadirpur Limited.
• Fast-track the finalisation of a petrochemicals policy in Pakistan to flourish downstream industry and bring in foreign investment
• Enhance business development efforts through Pakistan’s trade representatives in foreign jurisdictions to explore joint ventures
• Capitalise on the Gwadar port as a trans-shipment hub
• Facilitate the development of a hydrothermal cracker to unleash the next phase of growth in the plastics industry
A key issue is the need for Pakistan’s PVC industry to remain globally competitive. This is critical to meeting increasing local demand through “Made in Pakistan” products and increasing production capacity for export-led industries.
The sustained growth of this sector can also ensure the use of modern materials in Pakistan’s construction industry. With housing demand outpacing supply due to population growth and increasing urbanisation, it is imperative for Pakistan to develop its own capacity to manufacture modern materials that are needed by the construction industry.
Realising this vision requires a number of policy interventions; key amongst them being the finalisation of a petrochemical policy to set up advanced downstream industrial units, such as a hydrothermal cracker. Another critical area of focus should be standardisation metrics for plastic products, particularly those used in the construction industry, such as windows. Finally, realising the country’s export potential requires investing in the ecosystem to utilise PVC materials to create value-added products. This requires a proactive engagement that incentivises joint ventures between Pakistan-based businesses with foreign investors who have the knowledge, expertise, and demand for these products.
Early investments in the PVC industry offer proof that Pakistan’s manufacturing industry can be globally competitive. This initial capacity, however, is only the first step in building a globally competitive PVC ecosystem in the country, where value- added products are manufactured for domestic and international markets. The overall impact of forward-looking policies that incentivise investment in this sector can create new jobs, increase industrial production, boost exports and promote the use of modern materials in the construction industry of Pakistan.