Govt focusing on export led growth, increasing FDI: Commerce adviser

ISLAMABAD, Apr 2 (APP):Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood Tuesday said the government was focusing on export-led growth and increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.

“We are committed for stopping the de-industrialization and the upcoming industrial and textile policy would have positive impact on the industrial sector and its growth,” the adviser said, while addressing to Pre- budget consultations and launch of the book “Growth and Inequality in Pakistan “ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Friedrich –Ebert- Stiftung (FES) here.

He said the government had lowered the duties on finishing good and raised the duties on the raw product for increasing the value addition in industrial sector of the country.

Razak said the government had involved all the stakeholder for negotiation on the new industrial and textile policy to evolve comprehensive policy document with consensus.

He said the government was not in favor of subsidy to any industrial sector, but “we will arrange funds support them for revival.”

Talking about Sino- Pak Free Trade Agreement, he said that Pakistan was negotiating with China on FTA- II to remove imbalances on different tariff lines and get market excess on terms China has provided to Association of South East Asian Nation(ASIAN).

He said that “We have had 10 rounds of negotiations with Chinese and hopefully FTA negotiation will be concluded this month to reach an agreement.”

He said that China and Pakistan were friendly countries and both side needed to benefit from bilateral trade and get access in both markets.

While on Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Indonesia, the adviser said that Indonesia has issued formal notification for correction of Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by offering immediate market tariff free access for 20 products of Pakistan’s.

The priority products include mangoes, broken rice, ethanol, tobacco, yarn and fabric, home textile, terry towel, apparel and knitwear, he added.
He said that Pakistan and Indonesia wanted to upgrade the PTA to Free Trade Agreement for expanding bilateral trade and economic relations.
Subsequently, three review meetings were held and Indonesia acknowledged concerns expressed by Ministry of Commerce regarding adverse effects of IP-PTA on Pakistan’s exports and finally agreed to unilaterally grant tariff free access to 20 Pakistani products.
Talking about Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), he said that SMEs would also be a priority in coming industrial policy.
He was of the view that that under-invoicing and smuggling were the main challenges and the government wanted to resolve all these issues with comprehensive strategy.