KARACHI: After a relative improvement in the law-and-order situation in Karachi, the housing and construction industry− one of the most affected due to security − is looking to change gears.
The construction and its allied industries gathered at the 9th Build Asia Exhibition, a three-day event which began at the Karachi Expo Centre on Tuesday. The event is being jointly organised by the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) and the Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan Private Limited.
“We are confident that the housing and construction industry in Pakistan, especially in Karachi, is going to see an improved rate of growth in the coming years,” said ABAD Senior Vice Chairman M Saleem Kassim.
Apart from builders, different industries related to the construction sector have also set up their stalls in the exhibition.
“We want to increase the number of exhibitors in this annual exhibition and we are hopeful that we will organise this event at a much larger scale,” said Kassim.
Security issues over the past few years have badly affected exhibitions at the Karachi Expo Centre, and the 9th Build Asia was no exception. Exhibitors say participation remained low because of security issues and slow economic activity in the country.
“Pakistan’s construction industry is developing fast and this is why we are here to interact with our potential customers,” said Chee Lih Qun, business development manager Richee Engineering, a Singapore-based company.
Another manager pointed out the potential in the paint industry.
“We expect that the paint industry in Pakistan will continue to grow at a faster pace because of the rise in quality consciousness and competition in the market,” said Syed Moin Ahmed, Business Manager Velv Paints, a Pakistani company that has recently set up its factory in Karachi to produce high-end paints mainly for housing projects.
Commenting on recent trends in paint industry, Ahmed said that the countrymen are more quality conscious than before, which has helped competition grow in the local market.
Builders say that property prices in Karachi have seen a relative jump in the last four months since the current government has taken over. However, the situation is still far from satisfactory owing to security issues in the city especially in those areas where builders want to invest in the high-rise projects for middle-income customers.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2013.