ISLAMABAD: With Pakistan losing its share in international markets, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood has stressed the need for zero duty on raw material, adding the government will try to find markets in China and Japan to boost dwindling trade.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Dawood said Pakistan was looking towards China for access to its markets for agricultural and industrial products. “I will ask Japan to give duty-free access for Pakistani products to its market,” he said, adding the share of textile products in total exports was 60%, but the share of Pakistan’s textile exports in the international market had dropped.
The adviser said Pakistan was also losing its position in regional markets, adding that India, Bangladesh and Vietnam had outpaced Pakistan in exports.
He said Pakistan’s total exports had declined from $25 billion to $20 billion during the previous government’s tenure, but appreciated the previous administration for giving incentives to the exporters. Talking about gaining access to new markets, the adviser said China was cooperating in that regard. He shared that he would visit Beijing on November 2 and was hopeful of a positive response from the Chinese side.
He added that he would visit Japan and ask for duty-free market access for Pakistani products. The adviser emphasised that Pakistan wanted to open trade with Afghanistan, India and Iran. Dawood expressed the hope that the government would be able to introduce contamination-free cotton in the next two years in order to fetch a good price in the international market.
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“Pakistan cannot earn revenue unless cotton quality improves.” The adviser said poor quality seeds of cotton were being sold to the farmers. Pakistan would ask China to provide technical assistance of its scientists for introducing quality seeds of cotton.
The adviser shared that an awareness campaign would be launched for contamination-free cotton in the country and provinces would be taken on board in that regard.
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Talking about the cash-strapped Utility Stores Corporation (USC), he said the USC management had misled about the inventory worth Rs4 billion, adding USC had no inventory.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2018.
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