ISLAMABAD, Sep 19 (APP): A ‘common expo centre’ will be established for Sialkot, Gujrat, Wazirabad and Gujranwala cities, for which the Punjab government will be approached for the allocation of land.

This was agreed in principle by the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood during an official visit to Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Saturday.

The advisor recognized and appreciated the role of industry in those cities for their contribution in overall exports of Pakistan and assured full support to the exporters and industrialists.

He underlined that for sustainable growth in exports, we need to diversify our products, into the developmental sectors, and find new markets, including Africa and Middle East etcetera.

During the visit, the commerce advisor discussed the development of fans, furniture and pottery industries with the representatives.

Dawood visited the Pakistan Electric Fan Manufacturers Association, where the representatives shared different issues related to export of fans and discussed practical and constructive solutions for the development of industry and resolution of problems.

The association members appreciated commerce ministry for various measures and interventions for boosting exports and promoting engineering sector, especially the recent move for revision of rates of duty drawbacks for electric fans.

In addition, the problems related to Mandi Bahauddin were also raised by the chamber representatives. The advisor assured that the government would play its facilitative role in finding solutions to their issues.

In the meetings with industry representatives, he said Pakistan had been able to successfully deal with the health and economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic because of the effective coordination between the federal and provincial authorities, as well as the private sector.

Dawood underscored that due to those joint efforts and proper implementation of the standard operating procedures, Pakistan was able to bounce back quickly, in terms of exports, as compared to its regional competitors.

He apprised the representatives of the industry of various cost reduction measures, like tariff rationalization on raw materials and intermediaries, taken by the commerce ministry to enable the industry to manufacture their products on globally competitive rates and ensure value-addition.

He reiterated that those measures were essential for strengthening of economy by promoting ‘Made in Pakistan’, export led growth and import substitution.

The advisor informed that the government had already done tariff rationalization for 41 percent of the raw materials and intermediaries, while the next measures were also under consideration for different sectors, including chemicals, engineering, pharmaceuticals, leather, food processing and textiles, under the three years tariff rationalization plan of the commerce ministry.