Pakistan Textile Council

Why don’t businesses flourish in Pakistan?


“The way we are regulated even Bill Gates cannot become a CEO in Pakistan”, the Chairman, Pakistan Textile Council, PTC, Mr. Shahzad Saleem, said during a panel discussion at the Econ Fest, on October 29.

He pinpointed that businesses cannot flourish if the economy does not. Pakistan needs change in its mindset. We are on a trajectory of ever higher accountability and regulation.

He linked political instability with fiscal instability which in turn increases risks, impacts availability of credit leading to crowding out of local investment.

He questioned how one could expect foreigners to invest in Pakistan while local investors found themselves at the receiving end.

The Chairman, PTC, emphasized to put things in context when we compare Pakistan’s economy with the regional economies. Pakistan needs visionary leadership, political and fiscal continuity and an enabling environment for businesses to flourish, he further said.

He debunked the urban legend that textile sector is heavily subsidized and noted that if one would calculate, the textile sector could actually be negatively subsidized impairing its competitiveness internationally.

He criticized that the governments keep piling on more taxes on businesses who work hard, report profits and does not go after other sectors who hardly pay any taxes.

The Chairman, PTC, noted that a growing economy has room for growth for all. Pakistan is the world’s 4th largest cotton producer and we need to build on that. IT sector, engineering, textiles are not mutually exclusive.

He concluded that the government’s job is to ensure decent education for all where it has failed miserably leading to two systems CIE, O and A-Levels and, for a vast majority of Pakistanis, the matriculation stream. How can we have a prosperous and meritocratic society with this basic design flaw?