“Some 70% Pakistani industries would face stiff competition in the beginning of [liberalised] trade with India, but it will benefit local industries in long run,” Ministry of Industries Joint Secretary Shaista Sohail said on Tuesday. “The rest of the 30% industries of country could compete with any other country, as they would not face any serious problems,” she added.
A seminar organised by the Ministry of Industries, in collaboration with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), on ‘Post-MFN implications for the industrial sector’ was held on Tuesday.
Speaking to The Express Tribune after the seminar, Sohail said that most small industries would face difficulties owing to problems like the electricity crisis and high costs of production in the country.
“But, at the same time, [a] competitive environment will help [the] local industry that has always been protected in [the] country,” she added.
Government policy to open up trade has not received complete support from industries. The Tuesday seminar was thinly attended by members of KCCI; signifying their suspicions on trade with India.
Pacifying concerns, Shaista Sohail said that the Ministry of Industries will take care of the reservations of local industries on non-tariff barriers and other problems in trade with India. She said no country can give an export-specific subsidy to any of its industry, but Pakistan may consider horizontal subsidies to specific industries.
According to a leaflet distributed at the seminar, the Government of Pakistan also promises that it will act within four months on anti-dumping investigation requests lodged by the local industry. The timeline shows that investigation in any particular case will be concluded within four months and will not exceed six months in any case.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2012.