Pakistan’s trade share in global market witnesses growth by 5.48 percent in five years: NA told

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 3 (APP): Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid Wednesday said that Pakistan’s trade share in global market had increased by 5.48 percent during the last five years.

Speaking in the National Assembly during question-hour, the minister said Pakistan’s export share in global market in 2015 had increased by 3.50 percent as compared to 2014.

He expressed the hope that country’s trade share in global market was expected to further increase due to upcoming economic activity under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), regional trade arrangements and Strategic Trade Police Framework (STPF).

He said the government was well aware of the real issues affecting the country’s exports such as terrorism, energy crisis, low investment inflows and high cost of doing business.

He said several steps were taken relating to high cost of doing business, market access and competitiveness, adding including.

He said a total of Rs 20 billion would be spent on development of export sector during the next three years.

Other measures included Support for the import of plant and machinery to strengthen supply chain and encourage value-addition, establishment of Export Promotion Council for Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics, and Rice Export Promotion Council, Performance Based Incentive (PBI) to offset the burden of higher utility costs and local levies and taxes on the export sectors, i.e. per unit price based refund at 4 of 10 percent over last year’s exports.

He said under short-term export enhancement measures four product categories were being focused including Basmati rice, horticulture, meat and meat products; and jewellery, with the parallel focus on the following markets- Iran, Afghanistan, China, and European Union.

He said government was trying to get better market access for the local businesses in international markets by concluding Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with different countries.

Bilateral free trade agreements with China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Iran, Mauritius and Indonesia were already in place, he added.

He said the opportunity of zero-rated market access in European Union market under GSP Plus scheme had provided a fillip to our exports to our largest market.

Moreover, Government is in the process of negotiating trade agreements with Thailand and Turkey.

Replying to another question, he added that Pakistan had not so far acceded to Information Technology Agreement during two main reasons including FBR had shown reluctance as removal of duties may result in loss of revenue and, Ministry of Industries and Production was of the opinion that without adequate tariff protection, there would be no incentive to set-up ITrelated industries in Pakistan.

However, he added Ministry of Industries has since modulated it’s stance on the agreement.