Pakistan is a state which is highly committed to adopting efficient export control guidelines, policies and procedures. It aspires to increase trade with other countries to mitigate uncertainties of exporters. Pakistan is determined to pursue its effective export control under various international instruments and it controls and monitors all exports that can contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Pakistan is a responsible state and being a signatory to a large number of international treaties on non-proliferation, it is committed to fulfilling its international obligations
Pakistan is working towards the development of trade policies which would improve conditions of the market which will ultimately contribute to the international economy. Pakistan’s market for industrial chemicals is expanding gradually though it has a lesswell developed commercial chemical industry than India. The Chemical industry in Pakistan is both in the organized and unorganized sector. The sector has an investment between Rs.550-600 billion. Chemical related imports constitute about 17% of the total import bill.
Pakistan has a well organized system for imports and exports of chemical materials which are then converted into more than 70,000 products for industry as well as goods that people depend on in their daily life. But unfortunately imports are much higher than exports. Pakistan needs to enhance its chemical exports which would really help in the growth of the country’s economy. According to the Chemical Industry Vision-2030, the chemical industry in Pakistan has been classified into two categories:
The Primary Chemical Industry comprises refineries, petrochemical plants and natural gas plus, metallurgical and mineral based projects. They also provide feedstock for the secondary chemical industry. The Secondary Chemical Industry is based on feedstock either derived from primary industries or other alternative sources of raw material like coal, limestone, gypsum, rock salt, silica and sulphur.The principal objective of the Secondary sector industries is to maintain connectivity between products and materials produced by the Primary industries and are of practical use for the national economy. The chemical industry comprises companies that produce industrial chemicals which are important for the economy, as it converts raw material into more than 70,000 different products. This implies that the secondary industries rely on the primary industries for feedstock and raw material to be used in manufacturing, processing, blending and fabricating plants for petrochemical intermediates, polymers, plastics, steel, non-ferrous metals, minerals, agricultural and other miscellaneous products. These industries use medium-to highly sophisticated technology and have a range from light to medium categories. The chemical industry is more varied than any other industry because its products are universal.
Chemicals are important as they play the role of a building block to produce products in order to fulfill the basic needs like, shelter, food and health. They also are central to the world of technology, telecommunications and of course biotechnology. These are used to make a large variety of consumer goods and have inputs in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and service industries. Basic Chemicals which are commodity materials include flexible material, Polymers, Petrochemicals and other derivatives and inorganic chemicals which make up 35-37% of the chemical market Specialty Chemicals are high value-added chemicals with diverse end-product market. Products include electronic chemicals, industrial gases, adhesives, sealants and catalysts. Specialty Chemicals are sometimes referred to as “fine chemicals” and make up 20-25% of the chemical market.
The chemical industry in Pakistan is widespread. Chemical imports constitute about 17% of the total import bill. Pakistan has made considerable progress in basic inorganic chemicals like Soda Ash, Caustic Soda, Sulphuric Acid and Chlorine and has acquired sufficient production capacity of these chemicals to cater for the needs of the local industry, while surplus is being exported. Even then there are some challenges to be countered. The chemical industry of Pakistan is lagging behind due to these challenges. The main challenge is that it has to rely on its imports and foreign materials. This does not benefit the economy and results in production of expensive products. The lack of industrial infrastructure and technology in Pakistan results in low quality products which do not meet the standard. Moreover the discriminatory approach of the international community does not integrate the Pakistan market into the international economy and Pakistani products are not given access to the international market. Moreover the lack of resources and weak trade policies of the ministries also result in the weakening of chemical industry. In order to enhance the chemical industry, Pakistan must adopt the policy of “self-reliance”. Instead of relying on foreign designs and engineering it must improve its own production and ensure high quality of chemical products.