Pakistan’s exports performing better than China, India: Dawood

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–PM’s aide says e-commerce policy will be fully implemented within the next few months

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Monday said that Pakistan’s exports were performing better than its competitors as China, India and Vietnam’s exports had been declining rapidly.

Addressing a press conference after the conclusion of a two-day conference on e-commerce policy in the federal capital, the PM’s aide said that the growth rate of Pakistan’s exports was 3.5 per cent because of the government’s policies. “This news is encouraging for the government and the general public,” he added.

Talking about the e-commerce policy which was approved the government last year, Dawood said that suggestions and proposals of different stakeholders would be considered and incorporated in the existing law to facilitate the country’s growth in the digital sector.

“The policy will be fully implemented within the next few months. A summary has already been prepared in this regard which includes legislation, a draft law for registration with the World Trade Organisation, regulatory framework and details about technology and logistics in the international digital business,” he said, adding that the government has already started the implementation of the policy on some important subjects.

The PM’s aide said that Pakistan’s export potential was over $5 billion and the government will support different sectors to reach the desired target. “A 47 per cent increase in the freelance market indicates the growth of the digital business,” he added.

He said that the e-commerce policy will play an important role in projecting Pakistan’s products abroad in accordance with the incumbent government’s agenda. “Those who invest in e-commerce would definitely see the fruits of their investment. Although the process of implementing the policy is taking longer than expected, we hope that the people will hold on to their enthusiasm so that we can keep moving towards the desired objectives,” he added.

“Once Pakistan is able to remove hurdles in online payments, we will see a rapid increase in our exports. Pakistan’s future is dependent on its services sector exports and the e-commerce policy was formulated with this idea in mind,” he further said.

Dawood also said that the policy would also minimise corruption as transparency is one of the key elements of the digital age. “Inefficiency will decline as well and we will move forward at a greater pace,” he added.

Additional Secretary Commerce Javed Akbar, while addressing the press conference, said that the government will implement regulation to ensure the security and interests of the consumers in the digital business. “A code of conduct is also being prepared to ensure that local companies meet international standards and follow global practices,” he said.

He said that they were constantly in contact with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for proper implementation of the e-commerce policy.

It is worth mentioning here that there is a need to enhance cross-border trade and the e-commerce policy provides an enabling environment through the establishment of a single window for allowing re-exports and re-shipments. A code of conduct for e-commerce platforms will help regulate digital businesses to prevent malpractices.

Moreover, the implementation of the policy requires collaboration among different ministries and departments and the government would also have to implement an e-procurement model for its procurements.

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