FAISALABAD: Tauseef Enterprises has again lived up to expectations by taking timely business decisions to make windfall gains.
After investing in Bangladesh about three years ago to reap the benefits of duty-free access to the European Union, the company – a big garment manufacturer – has started taking out its investment and is reinvesting here to earn dividends of EU concessions, this time for Pakistan as well.
The EU has allowed export of 75 selected products, mostly textile, to its market without any duty in an effort to offset the impact of 2010 floods in Pakistan. The 27-nation bloc has also eased criteria for winning unlimited duty-free access under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus.
These two concessions have prompted Tauseef Enterprises to consider whether it should keep its investment in Bangladesh or bring back the money.
Tauseef Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Chaudhry Salamat Ali, who is running two textile mills in Bangladesh, has already withdrawn Rs200 million out of more than Rs300 million, besides stopping fresh investment.
In the past three years of investment in Bangladesh, Ali’s business made exceptional profits. Now the company is withdrawing the original capital and its units there will continue operating with the help of profits earned and reinvested during these years.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ali said Pakistan would qualify for the GSP Plus in 2014 and after winning the concessions there would be no need to invest in Bangladesh or any other country.
At the time when he poured money into Bangladesh, the key edge the country had was free access to the EU markets. Now the same facility is enjoyed in Pakistan and there is no need to keep investment abroad.
Declaring Pakistan a good place for investment, Ali said industrialists of Faisalabad realised this fact after investing abroad, particularly in Bangladesh. Cheap labour and raw material provided an edge to the industry in Pakistan, but problems were still there that needed to be addressed, he said, referring to acute energy shortages.
He termed energy crisis the biggest bottleneck despite Pakistan having great potential for doing business. He suggested that the crisis could be overcome by utilising alternative energy resources.
Ali’s company is also planning to invest in energy generation in an attempt to end its dependence on national grid. “We can no more rely on the government because it has consistently failed to tackle energy issues,” he said.
The company will install a 50-kilowatt solar energy plant and if the experiment goes well it will upgrade the plant. “Industrialists should also focus on alternative energy resources, instead of censuring the government,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.
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