KARACHI: Engro Corporation – widely regarded as Pakistan’s leading conglomerate – has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to jointly co-develop opportunities, with IFC InfraVentures, in the Temperature Controlled Logistics (TCL) industry of the country. The partnership stems from Engro’s intent to study the logistics sector and devise integrated solutions for products that require temperature controlled logistics such as agricultural produce, medicines, and perishable food commodities amongst others. Experts estimate that present patterns in transport and trade logistics generate inefficiencies that cost Pakistan’s economy roughly 4 to 6 per cent of GDP every year. Furthermore, the country loses approximately 35% – 40% of its production of fruits, vegetables and dairy products due to poor post-harvest management practices.
Speaking at the occasion, Ghias Khan – President Engro Corporation said: “Pakistan’s performance on most logistical indicators, including the quality of trade and transport infrastructure, lags behind many emerging Asian countries. World Bank’s most recent Logistics Performance Index ranked Pakistan at number 68 out of a total of 160 surveyed countries. Pakistan continues to rank in the middle of the ranking despite its strategic geographic location, as compared to India at 35 and China at number 27. It is, therefore, evident that our transport supply chain system is not providing the value-added services that have become the hallmark of modern logistics, such as multimodal systems that combine the strengths of different transport modes into one integrated solution. Our agreement with IFC InfraVentures is a testament to Engro’s continued commitment towards Pakistan’s growth and quest to solve meaningful problems that have a far reaching positive impact on our country.”
IFC’s Senior Manager for Infrastructure, Wiebke Schloemer, said, “Engro Corporation and IFC have partnered successfully on a number of key projects in Pakistan in the past. We are coming together again in a venture where our primary objective is to enhance efficiencies in the supply chain for perishable commodities and pave the way for Pakistan to reduce food losses and improve produce quality.”
Backed by IFC’s technical expertise, Engro aims to explore and develop an integrated platform aimed at providing warehousing and logistics solutions to several industries, such as agriculture, restaurants and healthcare, which require reliable TCL solution to operate effectively, while focusing on their core business. Moreover, with the infrastructure development projects such as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) initiative and development of rail and road links with adjoining countries, Pakistan’s ability to move goods quickly, effectively and reliably across borders will make it more competitive in the global markets. News Desk