Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, has said that the country’s exports are expected to cross the $25 billion mark and are expected to go as high as $27 billion by June 30, 2019.
He said that owing to the prudent policies of the incumbent government, the country’s exports witnessed an increase of $1 billion in the past six months as well $600 million in December 2018.
He said “We are expecting $ 1 billion increase in the country’s exports in the current month of January.”
From the outset, industrial growth, low exports and a trade gap in the country were the biggest challenges for the government but the economic team, under the leadership of Finance Minister, Asad Umer, initiated reforms for economic growth, the adviser said during an interactive meeting with media along with Secretary Commerce, Muhammad Younus Dhaga at Commerce Ministry.
He informed the media that draft of new commerce policy is ready for approval from the cabinet within the next few days.
The Adviser said the government has introduced the reforms package for economic growth, in which “we want to give a direction to the economy.”
The government has prioritized the five major sectors including energy and now “We will reduce duties on raw material on the inputs of 15 different sectors including footwear, white goods, polestar, leather, home appliances and chemicals except steel sector.”
In reforms package, “We have restructured the duties on different sectors for increasing our exports”, he added.
The Adviser said the government intends to decrease imports, especially in the petroleum commodities, including furnace oil.
Replying to a question, he said that three Chinese and Russian companies were interested in investments in Pakistan Steel Mills (PSMs) and hopefully the deal will be finalized in March.
He further added that the government had three options regarding PSMs, including the privatization, lease or self-management.
Replying to a question, the Adviser said that Pakistan has been enjoying free market access through Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP-Plus) for increasing exports.
Secretary Commerce, Muhammad Younus Dhaga, said that “We regulate our imports according to the law of World Trade Organization (WTO) and there would be no harm to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with any country.”
He said that the policy will provide cheap raw material to the industry to enhance the country’s exports through proper mechanism.