Economy, Auto

Pakistan Exploring Motorcycle Exports

Pakistan Exploring Motorcycle ExportsPakistan Exploring Motorcycle Exports

Iran's recent opening after the cessation of international sanctions has got many regional countries interested in what the Islamic Republic has to offer.

Case in point would be Iran's southerly neighbor Pakistan that has a burgeoning motorbike industry and sees Iran as a perfect target market.

‘’Iran is a big market for Pakistani motorcycles and some of our products are widely respected there. When Iran’s economy grows, we will most likely see a shift of that market to higher CC bikes,’’ S M Engineering CEO Ishtiaq Siddiqui was quoted as saying by Express Tribune. However, Pakistan's close proximity has not stopped its eastern neighbor India from already establishing itself in the Iranian market. Already, Indian company Bajaj has been shipping its mid-market motorbikes to Iran, popular among Iran's young population.   

“India is, however, well positioned to grab that segment and we will have to slog it out with India in that market,” Siddiqui added.

The Pakistani entrepreneur noted that Iran’s auto and motorcycle market is well-developed and although Pakistan’s localization is much more than what Iran has achieved so far, they will catch up quickly as they have resources and laws in place that restrict import of finished auto products and encourage local manufacturing.

In view of the porous border with Iran, he said, “We see more unorganized than organized trade with Iran. Even today, a lot of Iranian traders are purchasing goods from Karachi wholesale markets."

Iran's trade with Pakistan is remarkably low considering the border, with trade a fraction of what it could be if supply lines were modernized and trade meetings were held more often.

“Our bikes are being transported to Iran and Iranian bikes are freely available in [Pakistan's side of] Balochistan,” he added.

But the industry is not entirely open for the Pakistani motorbike makers, as an organizer of a small and medium business conference in Tehran said, "We are not actively looking at the Pakistani market due to the political and security risks of shipping through that land route.

“Iran could be a good opportunity for small and medium entrepreneurs, but first, we have to restructure our industrial sector to make it compatible to compete,” said economist Qais Aslam.