Exports on right track

ECONOMIC experts at home and international donors and lending agencies are unanimous in their assessment that Pakistan’s economy improved a lot because of sound and pragmatic policies followed by the PML(N) Government but exports did not grow as per expectations due to internal and external factors. However, the situation has improved significantly – thanks to the visionary approach and hard work of Federal Minister for Commerce Pervaiz Malik, Secretary Commerce Muhammad Younas Dhaga and facilitation by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.
Though limited time is available before next election to realize all targets but the Minister and his team seem to be fully geared to implement a comprehensive strategy for enhancing exports and coming out of rising trade deficit, which is one of the main worries of the country. After assuming his portfolio in August last year, Pervaiz Malik had vowed to use all his energies to turn the country’s exports around and attract new investment through improving business viability and the trade data shows he has achieved remarkable success in this regard. Figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics show Pakistan’s exports increased by 11.24 percent to $11 billion during July – December 2017 as compared with $9.89 billion in the corresponding period of the last year. This is not without reason as the Minister and his team introduced some of the workable policies and initiatives like Prime Minister’s package, tried their level best to bring down the cost of doing business, got import duty reduced on raw material for exports, helped resolve tax related and other problems of industrialists and exporters and are aggressively pursuing free trade agreements with several countries. The impact of these talks can be gauged by the fact that Indonesia has agreed on concession for 20 top export items from Pakistan including zero percent tariff on tobacco, textile fabric, rice, ethanol, Citrus (Kinnow), woven fabric, T- shirts, apparel and mangoes during renegotiation on PTA. Similarly, the Commerce Ministry told the Prime Minister on Friday that the country is most likely to get three-year extension in GSP Plus status by the European Union as all relevant requirements for the purpose have been met. China has also agreed to address concerns of Pakistan during Phase-II of FTA which would hopefully help increase exports to China. TDAP is also instrumental in clearing hurdles in the way of export promotion and the teamwork is paying back. All this shows the leadership and sincerity of purpose do matters

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