FAISALABAD: The present tense relations between the US and China have proved to be a blessing in disguise for Pakistan as its exporters are getting extra orders from the US in the prevailing circumstances, said Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain.
Speaking to trainees of the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) at the FCCI, Hussain said Faisalabad was a main industrial and economic hub of Pakistan as the city had Asia’s biggest sock manufacturing units, the largest knitwear factory, rice mill, yarn market and a state-of-the-art agriculture university.
“The share of Faisalabad in total textile exports is around 55%,” he pointed out. “Although textile is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy, many other sectors like oil, chemicals and beverages are also contributing to the national economy in a big way.”
He emphasised that the basic objective of the FCCI was to protect the economic interests of its 7,000 members in addition to developing a cooperative working relationship between the government and business community.
Hussain revealed that FCCI office-bearers had chalked out their roadmap which consisted of ‘Triple E’. “We will focus on the economy, exports and education as these sectors will be our priority for the year 2018-19.”
Regarding the impact of deteriorating US-China ties, he said Pakistan was already getting additional orders from the US.
“These orders could be doubled provided the government resolves the country’s liquidity problem by ensuring immediate payment of tax rebate, refund and Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) claims,” he said.
He specifically mentioned the recent visit of Finance Minister Asad Umar to the FCCI and told the trainees that the chamber had played a major role in drafting the textile policy for the next five years. He expressed satisfaction over the government’s efforts to implement uniform gas tariffs across the country, especially for the five major export-oriented sectors including textile.
“Punjab is getting gas for Rs1,600 per unit while it was supplied in other provinces at only Rs488 per unit,” he lamented. “This disparity has made our exports uncompetitive even within the country.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2018.