‘Industries must follow global trends to boost exports’ | The Express Tribune


ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan’s industrial sector has to be brought at par with the global competitive trading trends to increase production and exports, said Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh.

In an interview with APP on Friday, he stressed that export sector of Pakistan needed to increase the production of commercial goods to make place in global competitive markets, which was possible only through implementation of latest technology, innovation and research and development.

Sheikh held the view that the country could not prosper without reestablishing trade ties with emerging global and regional markets, including Russia, Central Asian Region (CARs), Africa, Turkey and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He stressed that the capture of new potential markets for trade diversification through modern tools was essential to increase the country’s exports.

Focus on diverse sectors including textiles, information technology (IT), alternate energy, housing, Halal food, tourism, agriculture, gems and jewelry can lift Pakistan’s exports to new heights, he said.

Citing that Pakistan possessed ample potential in the field of information technology, he stressed that sector could alone boost Pakistan’s exports by $5 billion. He noted that the IT exports were presently hovering at around $2.5 billion.

According to the FPCCI president, exploration of new markets and geographical, regional and trade diversification were essential to enhance outward shipments.

“At present, 65% of Pakistan’s trade is concentrated in just 10 countries and bilateral trade volume with regional and friendly countries is quite nominal,” he said.

The country needs to pay attention to the agriculture sector and implement modern technology and tools to increase the yield per acre, he added.

“We also need to increase output of all major crops including cotton, rice, wheat and maize,” he held the view.

He highlighted that finding good seeds and setting up crop patterns in agriculture was a huge challenge, and maize and sugarcane could replace cotton, which was the most affected crop.

The FPCCI president said that without value addition in the agriculture sector and development of agro-industries, “we would not be able to develop our economy better.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2022.

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