FRAGO – Future is here…
APCAA appoints FRAGO as a solution for Modernizing Customs Clearing Industry.
At a recent board meeting between FPCCI and APCAA, YY Technologies presented FRAGO: a modern web-based software as a solution to prevalent challenges faced by customs clearing agents in Pakistan.
Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Acting President of the FPCCI said that being an exporter himself, he had seen first-hand how the Pakistani customs system lags behind “We still rely on stone age system of customs clearing where the agents manage the record manually. In such an environment keeping track of shipments and expenses is quite challenging where exporters and importers need to check with their customs agents for updates and feedback constantly. With digital solutions, I believe Pakistan’s customs clearing agents can excel in their domain and manage shipment details in an efficient way. ”
With a similar vision to use technology as a solution, a recent board meeting between the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the All Pakistan Custom Agents Association (APCAA) was held at the Federation House in Karachi. During the meeting, YY Technologies Pvt Ltd. (subsidiary of Tabani Group of Companies) was asked to brief how technology could intervene and bring Pakistan’s import-export clearing system at par with modern international standards.
Mr. Arshad Jamal, Vice President of FPCCI, who co-chaired the board meeting further explained how the APCAA had addressed the problem in two stages, first was identifying the problem in the conventional system and the second was looking towards modern technology for effective solutions. The solution they found was itself two-pronged.
APCAA looked towards FRAGO as a viable solution to the problem. Mr. Humza Tabani, Vice Chairman of Tabani Group of Companies addressed the board members during the meeting and said “technology has advanced so greatly that everything can be done using a smartphone. He explained how FRAGO would allow customs agents to easily manage the shipments, calculate payments and taxes according to the current exchange rate, check leakage of money, creating far more efficiency and ease in the customs clearance system.”
Mr. Tabani talked about how CPEC was likely to bring an explosion in the import-export business of the country and a more modern system of freight management, built on the latest technology would greatly enhance the advantages for customs clearing agents. He continued that; “Pakistan is a global exporter of software and its IT exports stand at $2.2 billion dollars, but it is the local industries that have not been digitalised completely as of now.”
Pointing out the problem, Muneeb Tabani commented that locally, when companies think of digitalisation, they imagine a huge number of computers and a complicated system instead of the smartphone, which we can be used to control multiple things. With FRAGO the data is collected on cloud systems and is easily accessible anywhere in the world. He remarked that in this day and age, it is essential for customs agents to have the facility of automating their manual, laborious and hefty paper work.
A modern customs clearance system built using the latest technology and software is one of the most direct ways to create a better business environment for traders and to positively influence the Pakistani economy. As our industry is increasingly digitalised and technological innovations are adopted as solutions to problems faced by local companies, it will have a proportional effect on our economy indeed as evinced by the rate at which firms globally are becoming technology oriented.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Tabani shared his vision of adding more hi-tech digital solutions to his portfolio of products, saying that he believes true potential of local industries can be multiplied manifold using simple and easy to use technology based solutions. From Fleet management, health sector, textile industry and ERP solutions, it is now that Pakistani local industry needs to overhaul the century old practices of running operations manually, and make use of the available technology tools to enable better growth; he added.
The board meeting was also followed by a presentation by Nuctech, an IoT company, offering state of the art container scanning solutions that allows detailed x-ray visions eliminating the need for unpacking and unloading.
Meeting was concluded with reflections from both vice presidents of FPCCI, who said these recommendations will now be forwarded to government to make the import and export channels digitally modernised.