ISLAMABAD: The government has expressed its willingness to enter in trade liberalisation deals with countries in the Pacific and Africa regions in a bid to increase the country’s exports. ‘
Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik has said the government was looking forward to start preferential trade agreement (PTA) talks with Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Kenya.
The minister, who received a briefing on trade statistics on Tuesday, said the government was working on exploring new markets for diversification, while at the same time it was giving more incentives to exporters. Malik expressed satisfaction at the year-on-year growth in exports that was reached in March 2018, as exports amounted to $2.23 billion, higher by 24% compared with March 2017 and 17% when compared with February 2018.
“The 24% increase in exports, the highest in four years, is the result of the duty drawback scheme under the PM package as well as the exchange rate adjustment, export friendly policies and renewed efforts towards seeking better market access,” he said.
The commerce minister said the government would take all necessary measures to facilitate exporters. “Improved market access especially in the European market owing to the successful review of GSP Plus facility also played an important role,” he added.
On the other hand, imports grew by only 5% as compared to March 2017, which is also one of the lowest growths in the past many months, the ministry added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2018.