‘Tariff structure being rationalised to improve Pakistan’s industrial competitiveness’

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PM’s adviser says govt is targeting a $200bn share in Chinese imports

LAHORE: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Saturday that the tariff structure was being rationalised in order to ensure the country’s industrial competitiveness in the global market.

He said this during a meeting with representatives of the industrial sector and all other related departments of Punjab. The meeting, which was co-chaired by Punjab Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, was held to review the measures taken by the provincial government to enhance the inflow of industrial investments.

The PM’s adviser stated that the incumbent government has resolved a major problem of the business community, which was its access to the international market. “After this, efforts are now being put in place to ensure the competitiveness of Pakistani products.”

In this regard, he said, the government has reduced/eliminated various duties on the import of industrial raw materials. “However, Pakistan needs consistency in its policies on this count,” he opined.

Dawood said China’s imports from the world currently hovered around $2.1 trillion and Pakistan could take optimum advantage of such a huge market through exports’ facilitation, industrial promotion and establishment of special economic zones and industrial estates.

“China had committed to importing Pakistani goods worth up to $1 billion. The export targets of sugar and rice have been completed while yarn is being exported to China,” he informed. “China has also promised to import another consignment of Pakistani goods worth the same value i.e. $1 billion after completion of the first phase.”

However, he maintained that Pakistan was targeting a $200 billion share from Chinese imports.

Dawood said that China was mulling to relocate its industrial units to Pakistan and the government was focused on improving the industrial structures.

“We intend to facilitate the industrialists and businessmen in an effort to enhance the country’s industrial production, as only that could increase our overall exports’ volume and revenues.”

The adviser lauded the provincial government for its efforts towards promotion of business activities, saying that the Punjab government must continue to work with the same spirit and the federal government would support all its endeavours.

He said that the Japanese government was ready to provide a ‘technology fund’ purely for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “However, the provincial government will decide regarding the distribution of the fund.”

Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal said on the occasion that the Punjab government was working on import substitution so as to reduce the country’s import bill.

“Initially, we are chalking out ways to produce locally the top 20 importable items. We will soon be able to ensure local manufacturing of export-quality porcelain tiles and seed oil production,” he added.

As per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the minister said, the Punjab government was fully committed to attracting foreign direct investment and industrial promotion, which would not only help create employment opportunities but also enhance exports volume and revenues.

Mian Aslam Iqbal said that the Punjab government was putting in order effective measures for industrial revolution through investment facilitation and advisory, Chinese industrial cooperation, strategic initiatives, setting up of special economic zones, industrial estates, and bringing together industrial sectors having potential for joint ventures, besides holding business to business (B2B) meetings for match-making.

The meeting discussed various matters pertaining to Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad, Quaid-i-Azam Apparel Park in Sheikhupura, Sundar Industrial Estate in Lahore, and establishment of Expo Centre in Faisalabad.

The provincial minister also constituted a committee comprising heads of relevant departments to present a report on the way forward for bridging the electricity demand and supply gap for industrial estates on an emergent basis.

Punjab Industries Department secretary, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) chairman, Punjab Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (PIEDMC) chairman and other high-ups of various departments attended the meeting.

He said this during a meeting with representatives of the industrial sector and all other related departments of Punjab. The meeting, which was co-chaired by Punjab Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, was held to review the measures taken by the provincial government for the promotion of industrial investments.

The PM’s adviser stated that the incumbent government has resolved a major problem of the business community; which was access to the international market. “After this, efforts are being put in place to ensure the competitiveness of Pakistani products.”

In this regard, he said, the government has reduced/eliminated various duties on the import of industrial raw materials. However, Pakistan needed consistency in its policies on this count, he opined.

Dawood said China’s imports from the world currently hovered around $2.1 trillion and Pakistan could take optimum advantage of such a huge market through exports’ facilitation, industrial promotion and establishment of special economic zones and industrial estates.

“China had committed to importing Pakistani goods worth up to $1 billion. The export targets of sugar and rice have been completed while yarn is being exported to China,” he informed. “China has also promised to import another consignment of Pakistani goods worth the same value i.e. $1 billion after completion of the first phase.”

However, Pakistan was targeting a $200 billion share from Chinese imports, he maintained.

Dawood said that China was mulling to relocate its industrial units to Pakistan and the government was focused on improving the industrial structures.

“We intend to facilitate the industrialists and businessmen in an effort to enhance the country’s industrial production, as would definitely increase country’s overall exports’ volume and revenues as well.

The lauded the provincial government for its efforts towards promotion of business activities, saying that the government must continue to work with the same spirit and the federal government would support them fully.

The adviser said that the Japanese government was ready to provide a ‘technology fund’ purely for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “However, the provincial government will decide regarding the distribution of the fund.”

Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal said on the occasion that the Punjab government was working on import substitution so as to reduce the country’s import bill.

“Initially, we are chalking out ways to produce locally the top 20 importable items. We will soon be able to ensure local manufacturing of export-quality porcelain tiles and seed oil production,” he added.

As per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he the minister said, the Punjab government was fully committed to attracting foreign direct investment and industrial promotion, which would not only help create employment opportunities but also enhance exports volume and revenues.

Mian Aslam Iqbal said that the Punjab government was putting in order effective measures for industrial revolution through investment facilitation and advisory, China Industrial Cooperation, strategic initiatives, setting up of special economic zones, industrial estates, and bringing together industrial sectors having potential for joint ventures besides holding business to business (B2B) for match-making.

The meeting also discussed various matters pertaining to Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad, Quaid-i-Azam Apparel Park in Sheikhupura, Sundar Industrial Estate in Lahore, and establishment of Expo Centre in Faisalabad.

The provincial minister also constituted a committee comprising heads of relevant departments to present a report on the way forward for bridging the electricity demand and supply gap for industrial estates on an emergent basis.

Punjab Industries Department secretary, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) chairman, Punjab Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (PIEDMC) chairman and other high-ups of various departments attended the meeting.

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