Buy local, stop global

Nadeem Moulvi

The writer is a business analyst.

If we have to develop our country for our future generations, we need to change our habits and attitudes. Consumerism has crept into our society and we have adopted a foreign culture. We have become brand conscious and buying products has become our way of life. From cars, mobile phones, clothes and even food, we are spending more on imported goods. We want to keep with the latest trends and constantly upgrade our products. We consume fast food and all foreign franchises are doing a roaring business. This saturation of advertisements in the media has a major role in molding our habits and making us a consumerist society.

We love to eat from KFC or McDonalds and have the latest iPhone and buy luxury branded clothes. This comes at a huge cost as money is being lost and going into the pockets of foreign companies.

To satisfy our demands, we have to import products which cost us precious foreign exchange. We can easily reduce these expenses simply by costs and buying local products.

Pakistan imports oil, seeds, grains, organic fruits, coffee, tea, spices and much more. We went on from eating bun kebabs to burgers and lost our money and health. Children prefer eating at KFC, McDonalds and Burger King rather than having Chicken biryani. We have veneered out of tradition and forgotten our local food. Men want to buy Levis jeans and wear Nike sneakers while women want Gucci, Zara, D&G, and Versace. There are dozens of make-up brands selling their products from Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Urban Decay, Essence, etc. And we want to drive the latest Toyota car. Even the beverage industry is affected as Pepsi takes the lion’s share due to its brilliant marketing tactics.

All this money goes to powerful multinationals like Nestle, P&G, Lotte, Unilever, Kolson, Toyota, Dockers, and Pizza Hut. These firms funnel the millions of dollars out of the country every year and our economy suffers. Do you know that a McDonald’s franchise costs between Rs 165.7 to 349.3 million while KFC costs between Rs222.7 to Rs433.3 million? This is only the cost of brand name and insignia not to forget the millions of burgers that are sold daily. Our nation gains nothing, our economy bleeds and these firms exploit our workers. 

The government needs to take action against all multi-national firms who have penetrated into our society and destroyed the local industry. This is the biggest cause of rising prices as the locals cannot obviously compete with these foreign brands. We also need to change our culture and attitudes. The solution is simple – Buy local. We need to encourage the local industry and our home-grown products and brands. Next time you buy a foreign brand or imported product, think about the cost to the economy.