Traders ask govt to explore new markets | The Express Tribune


ISLAMABAD:

The business community has called on the government to focus on diversification of exportable products and markets in order to boost the export volume, which will help achieve better economic growth and address economic woes.

In a statement on Monday, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that Pakistan relied primarily on textile exports, which could be reflected from 60% contribution of the sector to total exports of the country.

“The government should cooperate with the private sector in diversification of exportable products and markets to improve exports in a bid to address Pakistan’s long-standing economic woes and achieve sustainable growth,” he said.

Many sectors including engineering, IT, pharmaceutical, halal food, marble and granite, gems and jewellery and others have immense potential to fetch foreign exchange for the country.

He emphasised that the government should take solid measures to facilitate these sectors to steer a rapid growth in exports.

“The government should pay attention to the emerging markets to enhance exports, including Russia, the Central Asian region, African states, Turkey and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean),” he said.

“Prioritisation of new markets and focus on diversification are critical for taking exports to higher levels.”

Munir was of the view that it was essential for Pakistan to upgrade its industrial sector to produce value-added exportable products.

However, the withdrawal of tax exemptions through the mini-budget would create more problems in the way of upgrading the industries, he said and asked the government to reconsider its decision.

ICCI Senior Vice President Jamshaid Akhtar and Vice President Muhammad Faheem Khan pointed out that Pakistan had massive potential to increase annual IT exports to $5 billion from the current level of $2.5 billion.

They suggested that the government should facilitate the introduction of modern technology and tools in the agriculture sector.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2022.

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