Minister for Industries & Production ensures support for Sialkot based surgical industry
The Federal Minister for Industries & Production, Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmood assured the surgical instruments industry of his full support in resolving their issues and facilitating them in becoming medical device manufacturers. He made these remarks during his visit to Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SIMAP) office in Sialkot. He was accompanied by Chairman Engineering Development Board and senior officials of the Ministry of Industries & Production comprising Chairman EPZA, CEO EDB, CEO SMEDA, CEO NPO, Director TUSDEC, CEO PITAC. Provincial organizations present in the meeting included Punjab Small Industrial Corporation, Cluster Development Institute, TEVTA and Customs Department. Chief Executive Officer of EDB briefed the participants that presently, MoIP organizations EDB, EPZA, NPO, SMEDA, PITAC and TUSDEC are jointly working with the surgical industry to address various issues being faced by them to improve efficiency productivity and enhance as well as diversify exports. President SIMAP welcomed the steps being taken by Ministry of Industries & Production for joint working through its attached departments towards supporting the surgical instrument industry to improve its productivity, output and enhancing exports and assured their full cooperation to the government of Pakistan to achieve these objectives. He briefed the Federal Minister about the problems being faced by the surgical instrument manufacturers. He informed that the industry needs government support for identifying joint venture partners from China for transfer of technology for entering into manufacturing of medical devices / appliances. Furthermore, brand development, trainings for skilled labour and machine operators, lab infrastructure for certifications, Medical Devices Regulations were other key issues requiring immediate attention. Chairman EDB, Mr. Almas Hyder was of the view that it is high time for the industry to graduate from traditional instrument manufacturing to hi-tech product manufacturing and become a hub of medical devices. Issues and bottlenecks in this process need to be identified and overcome to achieve this end. The industry needs to work with the government to address all such issues and develop a roadmap for bringing innovations, and value addition to this industry. He requested industry to identify required technologies and experts facilitate this migration. The Federal Minister advised to take on board all the relevant organizations like Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Commerce, PCSIR, PNAC etc., for an early resolution of MDR regulations which will come in force 2024 and may seriously affect the exports of this sector if compliance is not achieved by the industry. He assured to seek possibilities at the government level to negotiate with other international certification bodies for providing MDR solutions to the industry. He advised the industry to identify two to three medical devices for reverse engineering and local manufacturing with the support of MoIP organizations. The Minister also directed to review the existing rules & regulations of EPZA and other SEZs for making them more industry friendly to increase ease of doing business in the country. He advised that all the provincial and federal organization and departments need work to together to solve problems faced by the surgical industry for further increasing exports of surgical sector.