Commerce ministry sets exports targets to US $ 26 bln in three years: Razak Dawood

ISLAMABAD, Dec 20 (APP):Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Sunday said commerce ministry was resolved to achieve US $ 26 billion export target in next three years by exploring new trade markets across the world.

The trade diversification, regional trade integration through Gwadar Port and exploring the new market like Africa region, North and South America and enhancing the production of engineering good for increasing export are the main agenda of the government to boost exports, the adviser told APP here in an exclusive interview.

He said regional trade and economic integration would play a huge role for enhancing connectivity with Central Asian States and Afghanistan.

Another major focus is on expanding the role of digital economy and connecting with the international market to increase exports and create new employment opportunities for youth, he said.

Replying to another question, he said the upcoming Strategic Trade Policy Framework would address the needs of the modern economy where sales on online markets make a significant contribution towards the economic activities.

Razak Dawood said while moving towards the goal of digital transformation, Pakistan announced its first ever e-Commerce Policy in October, 2019.

He said the policy aimed at providing a launching pad to Pakistan’s e-Commerce market and its exports, while proving to be a driver of youth empowerment and employment generation through digital connectivity.

Moreover, it would empower the women entrepreneurs in Pakistan and encourage the micro, small and medium enterprises to play their role in economic prosperity of Pakistan.

It would also be a tool for export enhancement through connecting with global e-commerce platforms, he said.

Razak Dawood said that under this Policy, a high powered National e-Commerce Council will be developed at the Federal and the Provincial levels for proper and effective implementation of the e-Commerce Policy.

The Policy presents an opportunity to bring SMEs in the mainstream and connect them with Pakistani as well as international markets through online platforms.

Replying to another question, he said that Pak e-SME program will be initiated to identify, train, enable and connect 50,000 e-SMEs of the remote areas of Pakistan to online market places for promoting e-Commerce.

He said e-Commerce business facilitation hub will be created, a Commerce aggregator will be developed with Public Private Partnership to show case e-Commerce companies of Pakistan in front of the world.

He said the existing Federal and Provincial consumer protection laws would be amended to adequately address consumer disputes arising through e-Commerce platforms.

Consumer Protection will be ensured through proper implementation of the Code of Conduct by e Commerce Platforms, he added.

He said e-Courts will be established for quick processing of consumer cases and their disposal in an efficient and effective manner.

Razak Dawood said to promote financial inclusion and digitization, efforts would be made to convert all Cash on Delivery (COD) payments into e-Payment preferably within 10 years.

He said availability of international payment gateways in Pakistan would also be ensured.

All government procurements and transactions would be shifted to e-Procurement and online payment systems within three years.

Provincial Revenue Authorities would harmonize their GST collection system to avoid double taxation for e-Commerce Platforms, he said.

The Adviser said Pakistan was on a stronger footing now with the e-Commerce Policy in hand and Ministry of Commerce will allocated requisite resources for the implementation of the Policy which has become even more relevant in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic situation around the globe, driving nations to transition to electronic modes of transactions both domestically and internationally.

Moreover, the STPF would ensure creation of liaison of different sectors’ exports from conventional economies with online markets through e-commerce policy, he informed.