Dawood urges increase in regional trade, says govt achieving economic stability

Pakistan, Uzbekistan to sign PTA on Sept 30

SIALKOT:The government is successfully completing its agenda of economic stability, however the country must focus on regional trade which is quite low, said Adviser to Prime Minster on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.

He was addressing a meeting of exporters at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here on Saturday. SCCI President Qaisar Iqbal Baryar, Senior Vice President (SVP) Khurram Aslam Butt, Vice President (VP) Ansar Puri, Chairman AirSial Airline Fazal Jillani, Chairman Sialkot International Airline Limited (SIAL) Khwaja Masood Akhtar (Sitara Imtiaz), SCCI former presidents and a large number of business community members were present on the occasion.

“We must focus on regional trade. We have very low trade with regions. The EU regional trade is 90 per cent,” Dawood said.

Dawood said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Uzbekistan was a successful visit, in which 71 agreements were signed with Uzbekistan and announced that single country exhibition was going to be held in Tashkent soon to promote a wide range of export goods.

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He urged the Sialkot exporters to participate and explore the opportunities internationally, adding that the government had made products exports competitive in the FY22 budget by rationalising tariff lines of over 4,000 raw materials, comprising around 42 per cent of total imported raw material.

“Uzbekistan would also prove to be a gateway for Pakistan to other Central Asian countries,” he said.

He said that the preferential trade agreement (PTA) would be signed on Sept 30, 2021.

Dawood added that a meeting of businessmen and the chambers would be held after Eidul Azha with the prime minister, to set the targets of exports for the next financial year and that he said he would discuss the EXIM Bank issues with the finance minister soon.

During the meeting, SCCI President Qaisar Iqbal Baryar informed the participants about the issues faced by the business community. He discussed various issues of the industry including imposition of five per cent withholding tax on export companies on account of purchases from unregistered suppliers, decrease in percentage of rebate on sports goods, price fixation issue of beauty and single use instruments industry, release of funds from EDF for child labour elimination programme, enhancement in duty drawback schemes, one-time settlement of time barred DLTL cases, establishment of branch of EXIM bank in Sialkot, facilitation in establishment of business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) framework by the SBP, establishment of e-commerce incubation and training centres in Sialkot, permanent representation of SCCI in EDF Board, initiation of back-to-back letter of credit for five export-oriented sectors.

Later, Abdul Razak Dawood visited Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) and assured them that all problems of industrial sector would be resolved amicably.

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