Pakistan set to achieve export target, says Dastgir

Commerce minister satisfied with growth after GSP Plus status.

Our Correspondent December 02, 2014

KARACHI: Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir has said that despite all the problems, Pakistan is set to achieve its target of an additional $1 billion exports to the European Union (EU) after getting the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus scheme.

“I am very satisfied by the growth of our exports to the EU in the first eight months (Jan-Aug 2104),” he said while speaking to the representatives of the value-added textile sector at the PHMA house.

“This is encouraging for all of us as it is slightly beyond the expected growth target that the ministry of commerce had set last year,” he added.

According to Euro Monitor’s data, Pakistan’s exports to the EU have increased by an additional $770 million from January to August 2014, which, according to Khan, will touch $1 billion by the end of December 31, 2014, The figures are especially encouraging for the textile industry as its exports to the EU have shown 21% growth compared to the overall growth of 18%.

He also assured the textile exporters that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is strictly monitoring the progress of the implementation of EU’s 27 conventions in the country. The EU will do its first review of the progress on January 2016, and, according to Dastgir, the country is doing fine as far the implementation of EU’s 27 conventions is concerned.

On the demand of textile exporters, the minister agreed to install scanners at the country’s ports. This will facilitate exporters who will face delay in clearing their export items.

Dastgir informed the participants that the new Afghan government has agreed to sign new trade laws to improve regional trade, which will definitely increase Pakistan’s exports to Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries.

TDAP has own financial rules

For the first time in its eight year history, the all-important Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has its own financial rules now.  Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir approved the financial rules of TDAP on Tuesday during his visit to its head office. “TDAP is now equipped with the necessary documentary support with which it can play an important role in facilitating Pakistan’s exports,” he said, “I am sure this will go a long way in the history of TDAP.” According to Khan, TDAP can now hire appropriate staff and take important decisions that it could not do in the absence of its own financial rules.  Born in 2006, TDAP is the successor organisation to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) but its reputation has been marred by different financial scandals.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2014.

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