ICCI for extending export package till FY 2018-19

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to consider extending PM’s incentive package of Rs.180 billion for exporters till financial year 2018-19 in order to improve competitiveness of exporters and promote country’s exports.

Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan’s exports after touching a seven-year low of $20.4 billion in FY 2017, were now recovering as during the first half of the FY 2018, exports improved by 11.24 percent compared to the same period of last year, which was encouraging.

He said the PM’s export package of Rs.180 billion played positive role in turning around the falling exports of the country and stressed that government should further extend this package up to FY 2018-19 and broaden its coverage to additional non-textile sectors in order to further improve competitiveness of exporters and ensure sustainable growth of exports.

He said since 2003, share of Pakistan in global exports has declined by 19 percent due to lack of long-term planning and other problems. He said Pakistan’s product and market mix was highly concentrated as few low value products were exported to few markets.

He stressed that government should focus on diversification of products and markets to give boost to exports. He said government should transform export products mix from labor-intensive sectors to innovation-based high value sectors like pharmaceuticals, engineering and ICT that would help the country to achieve export-led growth of economy.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said that Pakistan was targeting low-end market segments that fetched low prices as the average unit price of top 30 export products of Pakistan was 40 percent less than the average price achieved by China, Turkey, South Korea and India. He said Pakistan should target high end market segments to achieve better results from exports.

Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry that the country attracted low foreign direct investment in export-oriented sectors due to low competitiveness and other challenges due to which investors preferred to invest in other lucrative sectors like real estate, stock market and power generation.

They said that government should take policy measures to make export-oriented sectors highly lucrative for investment so that these sectors could become attractive destinations for local and foreign investment to put Pakistan on the path of fast economic growth.