PTI govt asked to take industry’s input for trade deals

FCCI chief calls for appointing Pakistan consul general in New York

Imran Rana March 20, 2019
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

FAISALABAD: The government is making all-out efforts to provide Pakistani exporters wider access to the US, Chinese and Indonesian markets so that they could enhance exports to these destinations.

However, in this connection all stakeholders must be consulted before signing any free trade agreement (FTA) and preferential trade agreement (PTA), suggested Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain.

In a meeting with Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Hussain appreciated government’s efforts aimed at exploring new opportunities for enhancing the export volume, but said before finalisation of any FTA or PTA, every detail of the agreement must be shared with local businessmen in order to fully exploit the facility.

He pointed out that Indonesia had recently relaxed duties on various Pakistani products and the same facility should also be offered to Indonesia. “Only businessmen can turn this agreement in favour of Pakistan by maintaining a balance between imports and exports,” he emphasised.

Regarding trade with the US, the FCCI chief said it was surprising that there was no Pakistan consul general in New York. He urged the government to appoint an appropriate person on the important post, who could play a pivotal role in enhancing exports to that potential market.

Talking about the issues facing businessmen, he said domestic policies needed to be streamlined and implemented in true spirit. He complained that inflated gas bills had once again been issued, which would cast a negative impact on the manufacturing sector.

The FCCI president pointed out that no tangible progress had been made in the payment of tax refund claims, adding that only Rs12 billion had so far been released while the plan of issuing promissory notes had still not been implemented.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2019.

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