IN a laudable development, the Government has fixed an export target of $38 to $40 billion for the current financial year and going by the momentum created during the first month of the new year in which the country was able to push exports to the highest level in the month the goal seems to be achievable.
The exports of goods and services stood at $31.3 billion in the last fiscal year ended on June 30, 2021, including $25.3 billion export of goods and $6 billion of services sector.
According to Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, export target of goods has been jacked up to $31.2 billion, while the export of services will be increased to $7.5 billion for the current fiscal year.
Exports remained almost static during the last several years for a variety of reasons and in this backdrop their increase to $31.3 billion was a remarkable feat of the Advisor as the country succeeded in enhancing exports despite the challenges caused by the Covid-19 both on internal and external fronts.
The fact that the country’s exports witnessed 17.3% growth during July 2021 is an indication that the policies being pursued and the incentives offered to the industry and the export sector have started yielding positive results and that the business community is striving to make up for the loss caused by the monumental difficulties since the start of the pandemic.
As pointed out by the Advisor, the government took four major initiatives, including rationalizing the exchange rate, payment of tax refunds, competitive energy prices and tariff rationalization in order to remove export bias.
The IT sector exports achieved a marvelous growth of 47 per cent as its exports crossed the $2 billion mark and there are bright prospects of a quantum increase in IT exports in view of the incentives offered in the new budget.
An important feature of the target for the current fiscal year is that the Government proposes to achieve half of it through textile sector exports and the remaining half through diversification of goods and markets with focus on non-traditional sectors like engineering, information technology and others.
However, in view of rising cost of doing business and non-stop hike in prices of POL products and electricity and tariff rates, there are apprehensions that the country might lose the momentum in export growth, The Government, therefore, must ensure sustainable export growth by stabilizing the volatile exchange rate, bringing down the cost of inputs and raw materials and more incentives for non-traditional sectors.