With over 200 stalls set up by different companies from around 50 countries, the 8th International Plastic, Printing and Packaging Industry and International Food Equipment and Technology (3P) Exhibition kicked off at the Expo Centre Lahore on Saturday.
The companies, which came from India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Germany and other European countries, were showcasing their machinery and packaging material.
Following inauguration, Special Assistance to Punjab Chief Minister for Food and Environment Mansha Ullah Butt said such business exhibitions played a vital role in economic activities of any country and created a soft image. He said the Punjab government was supportive of the businesses and had taken various steps for facilitation.
Talking to reporters, Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers Association (PPMA) Chairman Shakeel Ahmed said Pakistan had a great potential for export of finished plastic goods to international markets, but that depended on supportive government policies.
He said the plastic industry was facing numerous problems from smuggled raw material from Iran which disturbed the people doing legal businesses.
He pointed out that by 1990, the Pakistani plastic industry was on a par with its Indian counterpart, but favourable policies introduced by the Indian government took them far ahead of Pakistan. Discussing other problems, he called on the government to establish a hydro-cracking plant, which would ensure cheapest raw material for the plastic industry. According to him, the government has been working on the plant for the last two decades but no breakthrough was achieved.
Salman Khan Tanoli, CEO of Fakt Exhibitions, the event organisers, said this was the eighth annual exhibition in a row without government support.
He pointed out that exhibitions portrayed a soft image of Pakistan globally as a number of international exhibitors participated in them, which would lead to an increase in foreign visitors when the exhibitors returned back to their home countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2012.