- ‘Export in dollar terms could not go up and remained stagnant at the previous year’s level’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s garments, knitwear, cement, food and footwear exports increased in term of quantity, however, due to the global decline in prices, exports in dollar term could not go up and remained stagnant at the previous year’s level.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood said this while addressing a press conference flanked by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdos Ashiq Awan on Thursday.
He said, “There is a big recession in global exports which have decreased by 3pc as compared to the previous year. The prices of the commodities, especially in the countries where Pakistan has a major share of exports, have also declined by over 7pc mainly due to the recent trade war between China and the US.”
He explained that the quantity-wise exports of garments, knitwear, cement, bedwear, food, and footwear increased by 29pc, 16pc, 13pc, 10pc, 11pc, and 27pc respectively during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year as compared to the same period of last year.
He said the export of yarn, which was a low value-added product, had declined during the period, showing that the government was moving in the right direction by focusing on the promotion of high value-added products. “The export of yarn will gain momentum with the passage of time.”
The advisor noted that the volume of exports also declined in India, Bangladesh and Turkey during the previous year.
On the other side, he said, the imports, due to the devaluation of Pak Rupee, had declined by $4 billion during the period, which was a good sign for the country’s economy.
Dawood pointed out that unless the local businessmen were not given access to the international market, the exports would not be increased, adding that the government had achieved success from Indonesia and China from where it managed to get duty free access on 20 and 313 items respectively.
He said in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) phase-II with China, the government had included a condition that if any local industry faced loss, Pakistan had the right to suspend the agreement for maximum 180 days.
To a question, Dawood said in order to expedite the implementation of FTA-II, a Pakistani delegation would visit China on June 17 while in July this year, he himself would visit China to further communicate the process.
To another question regarding the government’s expected decision of taking back the facility of zero-rating to five export-oriented sectors, the advisor said that the decision had not yet been taken in that regard.
He stated that underinvoicing was a big issue in the country, as it was causing major hindrance in the way of revenue collection.
“There is no doubt that the government is not receiving taxes from the local sale of various companies, therefore the government is taking special measures to discourage such practices,” he concluded.