President of the Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Umar Ashraf Mughal on Sunday said that the Lahore-Gujralwala Motorway, costing Rs.6 billion, would play a vital role in the development of Gujranwala’s local industry. The Lahore-Gujranwala motorway will not only connect the local industrial zone to the rest of the industrial cities of the country with highways and other routes, but will also provide transport facilities for the local population, the President GCCI, Umar Ashraf Mughal told APP in an exclusive interview here. He said that Gujranwala and Sialkot, the two biggest industrial cities of the country, would also be connected with the completion of this motorway, which would be mutually beneficial to the industrial units at the local level. The project is being executed on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode as the Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) also provided funds whereas the governments has also provided support for land acquisition and other financial support. Umar Ashraf Mughal said that Gujranwala has huge potential for light and heavy engineering goods at local level which “we can use to increase domestic exports.” He said that by increasing production in the engineering goods and steel industry in Gujranwala, “we need to attain the objective Ease of Doing Business (EODB) for lowering the cost of doing business to achieve competitiveness in the international market. “Modern machinery and high-tech labour can also increase our industrial production, which is likely to increase employment opportunities at the local level,” he said. The President GCCI said that with government support, “we can achieve huge potential to boost local industrial growth, which could also improve the country’s economy.” He said that in order to increase productivity, there is a need to introduce innovation in the local industrial structure which requires maximum resources from the government. He said that hopefully, under the leadership of Adviser Commerce Razak Dawood, the ministry of commerce would solve the problems of the business community of Gujranwala so as to increase the local industrial production and increase the exports of the country. He said that engineering goods currently account for 51 percent of global exports, where there are huge opportunities to grow our exports. Similarly, Gujranwala’s automobile industry has been performing magnificently in auto manufacturing for the past few decades consecutively, he said. Umar said that Gujralwala auto industry is manufacturing auto-Rickshaws and motorcycles locally. He said that our auto Rickshaws and motorcycles are also exported to foreign markets, especially to African countries at present, adding the government is putting great emphasis on exports of manufacturing and engineering goods, which have immense potential in Gujranwala. President GCCI said that with the support of the government by other facilities, the local industry of Gujranwala can give Pakistan a prominent position in the world in terms of exports. Omar said that Gujranwala also has a place in manufacturing in defense equipment, which is an important service in national defense. Gujranwala already has a manufacturing base for engineering goods and the government is ready to provide all possible facilities for further innovation and improvement, he said. ‘Make in Pakistan’ is the government’s top priority trade policy, which aims to introduce Pakistan’s traditional and non-traditional export sectors and local products in the international trade market, he said. The Adviser said that “we have decided to move towards import substitution which will increase our exports and create more industries in the country.” He said that Gujranwala has good potential in the industry especially the cutlery projects so the focus should be on the export of cutlery.