Government to promote regional trade, export-led growth: Razzaq Dawood

ISLAMABAD, Aug 28 (APP):Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles, Industries production and Investment, Abdul Razzaq Dawood said Tuesday that the incumbent government was determined to promote regional trade and export-led growth of economy.
“Promotion of regional economic and trade integration is a priority of the government for increasing trade with regional countries including Iran, India, Afghanistan and Central Asian States,” he told APP in an exclusive interview here.
The advisor said the regional trade would benefit Pakistan in enhancing exports and reducing the ever-increasing trade deficit it has been facing for years now as it had touched around $37.6 billion figure during the fiscal year 2017-18.
He said that the government would give priority to promotion of export-led growth by enhancing exports and reduce dependence on imports, adding the it had identified many sectors that would boost exports from the country.
“Primarily, we are focusing on increasing exports in engineering and Information Technology (IT), chemicals and innovated technology items by enhancing their competitiveness in global market,” he added.
He said that export promotion strategy would focus on increasing country’s exports to compete with regional and global players in the international market.
Replying to a question, the advisor said that the agricultural exports alone would not enhance the country exports, highlighting the importance of switching to value addition in this particular field to promote export of its value-added products.
He said special attention would also be given towards promotion of textile exports, particularly knitwear, apparel, garments, leather products and rice besides promoting the furniture industry of the country which has great export potential.
He said that the government, in consultation with stakeholders, would devise comprehensive policy guidelines to promote textile and industrial exports.
“I would call representatives of textile and rice sectors and exporters as well as other stakeholders for consultations to devise future guidelines for growth in these sectors,” he remarked.
He added that Small and Medium Entrepreneur (SMEs) sector would also be encouraged for playing its role in economic growth and prosperity.
The advisor also hinted at revisiting the trade agreements with various countries to ensure enabling environment for Pakistan to promote its international trade.
“We have to revisit the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with all countries including with Thailand, Turkey,” the advisor said while replying to another question.
He said that the government would also revisit trade policy to make it more result-oriented and in faovour of the country. “We would focus on promoting ‘made in Pakistan good’ and discourage imports,” he remarked.
Highlighting the need for reducing dependence on imports, the advisor said that the government would allow import of raw material for industry.
The advisor further said that the government would also explore new international markets for its exports, adding “we are committed to explore new market and mainly focuses on African continent.
“We are already in trade with North and South American countries including South East Asian Economic and there is more trade potential which needs to be explored.”