Export Targets Can’t Be Achieved Due to COVID-19: Razak Dawood

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood said that the country’s export target of $25 billion could not be achieved due to the ongoing lockdown in the country and it could decline to $22 billion.

The exports decreased in April by 50 percent and home remittances also declined in this situation, Abdul Razzak Dawood said in an interview.

Pakistan could get benefits from low oil prices in the current situation in the international market and there will be minimal impact on Current Account Deficit (CoD) because of the decline in petroleum prices, he noted. He also vowed to open the industrial sector in the coming months to provide an opportunity for the local exporters to benefit from the current scenario.

Dawood urged the exporters including the textile industry to get orders freely from all countries to tap the new opportunities in the world.

Replying to a question on the impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he forecast that it would contract by 0.5 percent during the current fiscal year.

He said that even in the recent challenging situation, Pakistan has opened various sectors including information technology and other sectors, which can attract international buyers.

Regarding a question on the textile sector exports, he said that Pakistan is receiving major orders for face masks and sanitizers.

We have also received huge demand of Hydroxychloroquine and Pakistan has exported raw material to Germany and Turkey and 1000,000 tablets to Saudi Arabia.

Replying to another question on the United States-Pakistan Trade dialogue, he said Pakistan wants to access potential US markets for this,

We demanded the US government to eliminate the travel restriction for Pakistan to increase bilateral trade.

He said during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan, both countries agreed to start a dialogue for opening new avenues for bilateral trade. The adviser said that Pakistan also demanded the United States and other international brands and companies to open their offices in Pakistan.

He said Pakistan wants to access Textile, Information Technology, and Services sectors in US to increase exports.

Replying to another question on Afghan Transit Trade, he said that the trade agreement is going to expire in June 2021, and now “We are in preparation to negotiate with them”. He said the Afghan transit trade is causing losses to the local industry. The country wants to increase bilateral trade with Afghanistan but “We had some reservations and there is a need to take some measures to protect the local industrial sector”.

Dawood further stated that the government wants to increase customs duties instead of direct tax. He further said that the government might not change export tariffs and tax slabs in the upcoming budget (2020-21).

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