Federal government to revisit trade agreements with all countries: Sources

Islamabad – The incumbent government would revisit the existing trade agreements with various countries to ensure enabling environment for promotion of the country’s trade in international market, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles, Industries Production and Investment, Abdul Razzaq Dawood said. “We have to revisit the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with many countries including Thailand and Turkey,” the Adviser said while talking to APP here Wednesday.

He said that the incumbent government was determined to promote regional trade and export-led growth of economy. He said that the government would give priority to promotion of export-led growth by enhancing exports and reduce dependence on imports, adding that it had identified many sectors that would boost exports from the country.

“Primarily, we are focusing on increasing exports in engineering and Information Technology (IT), chemicals and innovated technology items by enhancing their competitiveness in global market,” he added. “Promotion of regional economic and trade integration is priority of the government for increasing trade with regional countries including Iran, India, Afghanistan and Central Asian States,” he said.

The Adviser said the regional trade would benefit Pakistan in enhancing exports and reducing the ever-increasing trade deficit it has been facing for years now as it had touched around $37.6 billion figure during the fiscal year 2017-18. Dawood said that export promotion strategy would focus on increasing the country’s exports to compete with regional and global players in the international market.

Replying to a question, the Adviser said that the agricultural exports alone would not enhance the country exports, highlighting the importance of switching to value addition in this particular field to promote export of its value-added products. He said special attention would also be given towards promotion of textile exports, particularly knitwear, apparel, garments, leather products and rice besides promoting the furniture industry of the country which has great export potential. He said that the government, in consultation with stakeholders, would devise comprehensive policy guidelines to promote textile and industrial exports. “I would call representatives of textile and rice sectors and exporters as well as other stakeholders for consultations to devise future guidelines for growth in these sectors,” he remarked.

He added that Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) sector would also be encouraged for playing its role in economic growth and prosperity. He said that the government would also revisit trade policy to make it more result-oriented and in favor of the country. “We would focus on promoting ‘made in Pakistan good’ and discourage imports,” he remarked.

Highlighting the need for reducing dependence on imports, the Adviser said that the government would allow import of raw material for industry. “We are already in trade with North and South American countries including South East Asian Economic and there is more trade potential which needs to be explored”, he expressed. The Adviser further said that the government would also explore new international markets for its exports, adding “we are committed to explore new market by mainly focusing on African continent.

"Monitoring Desk"

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