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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Imran Khan wants Pakistani exporters to learn from Singapore & China

PM Imran Khan inaugurates Jolta e-bike, Pakistan's first electric bike, in Islamabad. Speaking on the occasion, he emphasised the need for the Pakistani industry to learn from the success of China and Singapore - which are basically export models. This event marked the beginning electric vehicle era in Pakistan.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan Inaugurated Pakistan’s first electric bike, “Jolta e-bike” in an elaborate ceremony in Islamabad, in the presence of cabinet ministers. Speaking at the event, the prime minister emphasized the need for an export-led economy in Pakistan, referring to the success stories of developed countries like China and Singapore.

While talking about the Jolta e-bike, Imran Khan congratulated his cabinet ministers on achieving this monumental goal as he said that the countries that think and work for the future are the ones that prosper the most, giving successful examples of China and Singapore.

He pointed out how in the past, governments sought the easy way out by importing from other countries rather than incentivizing local production and hence utilizing the raw material available in Pakistan.

This impacts the rupee value, as it leads to money flowing out of the Pakistani economy instead of coming in.

Read more: Pakistan’s trade deficit increases 20.05pc as imports rise in March

China and Singapore identified this capital outflow problem early on and developed their local manufacturing to such an extent that instead of importing, they were able to export the material to other countries that make them into economically stable countries that dominate the international financial and goods market to this day.

Keeping this in mind, in the recent budget, Imran Khan’s government has emphasized the export-led growth for Pakistan, and for this, the Automotive Industry Development and Exports Policy for the years 2021-26 has been introduced.

This policy according to the relevant government officials is largely focused on the production and exports of vehicles from Pakistan, and among them, a huge focus is on electric vehicles, which are environmentally friendly and will help reduce Pakistan’s oil import bill in the long term.

Pakistani market has a huge potential for electric vehicles, however since most of the production was previously taking place internationally, the cost of such vehicles was very high for the majority of the population.

With this initiative, Pakistan will now be able to produce electric bikes under a budget-friendly price tag to cater to the needs of most of the population using bikes. It is worth mentioning that almost 80-90% of registered vehicles in Pakistan are motorbikes due to their low cost and ease of mobility.

It is vital for such initiatives to kick start in Pakistan as this will ensure a decrease in annual pollution demographics, as well as create new job opportunities in Pakistan.

In a recent press conference, the Federal Minister for Industries Khusro Bakhtiar talked about motorcycle production and said 2.6 million units had been produced this year which would be increased to 3m next year. He added that 75,000 job opportunities would arise from this increase in production, mostly in rural areas.

Read more: BMW launching motorbikes in Pakistan

The Jolta Bike

Jolta bike is the result of a collaborative initiative with a Hong-Kong based company that plans to invest $10 million in Pakistan for the production of shuttle buses and e-cars. Jolta has a variety of models, depending on the needs of the consumer.

The three models that have been launched include E70 that has a charge time of 5 hours and can go up to 50 km/h. The second variant is E100 that can charge in 6 hours and can go up to 70 Km/h and the third model, E125 is chargeable in 7-8 hours and can travel 120km/h.

These E-bikes will work without any piston and are expected to be priced around 35,000 to 40,000 PKR.

Read more: Pakistan’s first environment-friendly E-Bike to be launched today by PM Khan

Impact of this policy

This initiative goes hand in hand with PTI’s environment protection policy as electric bikes are not only the future of the world but are also extremely environmentally friendly since their carbon footprint is way less than that of other vehicles.

Imran Khan during his speech mentioned the steps that the government is taking for the future of Pakistan including the Million Tree Tsunami project as well as the Pakistan Electric Vehicle Policy 2020-2025, under which the Jolta Bike has been produced.

This will significantly impact the economy of Pakistan as the biggest source of economic destabilization is often the fuel and oil prices around the world which affect the local market. With the fuel substitution from oil to electricity, Pakistan will be able to withhold the $15-$16 billion dollars that are spent annually on fuel imports.

Read more: Jet fuel is running out fast: Pakistan facing another crisis

However, the extent to which this initiative proves to be successful is still a development that we have to witness before commenting further on it. As of now, we know the roadmap that the government has laid down and the vision that Imran Khan has given to follow the footsteps of the policies followed in Singapore and China.