ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Monday that the government has been striving to connect the local economy with major economies of the world so as to achieve the agenda of trade liberalisation and enhance the country’s exports.
“Our major economic agenda is to increase the country’s exports, which would, in turn, help the government overcome trade and current account deficit,” the adviser told APP in an exclusive talk.
He said that Pakistan had already signed the second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA-II) with China; gaining access to 313 top exportable items in the Chinese market.
“After this agreement, all the major exports of the country, including textile, leather, agriculture & food and surgical & sports items, would get a better access in the Chinese market,” he added.
The advisor said that the relocation of Chinese industrial units under the FTA-II provided Pakistan with an opportunity to transform its industrial sector.
Replying to a question, he said that the government was now fully concentrating on integrating the local market with potential international markets.
“In this regard, the focus would be on the markets of America, Africa and Central Asian Region.”
He said that FTAs with Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and Iran were being negotiated, as the government was committed to enhancing its trade relations with these countries.
The adviser said Japan, Vietnam and South Korea, as well as the other Pacific and South-East Asian markets, would also be connected for trade enhancement.
He termed transfer of technology and automation of institutions as key drivers to ensure ‘ease of doing business’ in the country.
On a query, he said that improvement in the World Bank’s EODB ranking was encouraging as “it would highlight the positive image and attract foreign investment” in the country.
Dawood said the WB’s report acknowledged Pakistan for consistently bridging the gap between its regulatory environment and global good practices.
“Pakistan’s EODB score improved in seven indicators, including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, protecting minority investors, paying taxes and trading across borders.”