Commerce Ministry Proposes Sinotec-Ghani Glass JV for Solar Localization in Pakistan


In a bid to accelerate solar panel production in Pakistan, the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has proposed a joint venture (JV) between Chinese firm Sinotec Solar (Pvt) Ltd and local company Ghani Glass. This initiative was put forth during a recent inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Rashid Mahmood Langrial, the Additional Secretary Incharge of the Ministry of Industries and Production.

Langrial, a staunch advocate for consumer interests, emphasized the necessity to avoid high duties on finished solar panels to prevent price hikes for consumers. He underscored the importance of a balanced approach, ensuring affordability while promoting local industry growth.

During the meeting, various issues were addressed, including Sinotec’s importation plans and the imposition of tariffs and taxes on the solar industry. Langrial stressed the importance of Sinotec Solar presenting a detailed indigenization plan spanning five to seven years to qualify for zero-rated duties on imports of raw materials and machinery.

Insights into the import quota system managed by the Input/Output Co-efficient Organisation (IOCO) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) were provided by Muhammad Ashfaq from the MoC. Discussions also delved into revenue implications and administrative procedures related to the solar industry.

Sinotec Solar’s conditional localization plan was met with skepticism due to market volume conditions and a lack of consideration for export potentials. As a resolution, the MoC recommended exploring a JV with Ghani Glass for faster localization and technology transfer, backed by an unconditional indigenization plan supported by a bank guarantee.

The meeting concluded with decisions to finalize responsibility matrices, conduct tariff and tax analyses for the next decade, and for Sinotec to collaborate with Ghani Glass to devise a comprehensive indigenization plan.

This proposed collaboration aims to enhance local manufacturing capabilities and promote sustainable energy solutions, aligning with Pakistan’s vision for economic growth and energy security.

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