Lahore: Chief Executive of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) S.M. Muneer on Monday gave a well designed and well tailored recipe to enhance exports in the quickest way.
He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz presented the address of welcome while Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir, former LCCI Presidents Iftikhar Ali Malik, Syed Mohsin Raza Bukhari, Mian Misbah-ur-Rehman, former Senior Vice Presidents Sheikh Mohammad Arshad, Mian Tariq Misbah, former Vice President Aftab Ahmed Vohra and Executive Committee Members also spoke on the occasion.
TDAP Chief said that that Authority has worked out strategy to increase exports as Pakistan has the potential to win the global market.
“Exports would get a jumpstart once issues of energy shortage and stuck-up refunds worth billions of rupees are resolved”, TDAP Chief Executive said.
He said that TDAP has organized around 118 exhibitions in a short span of time while the trade delegations are being supported to the maximum.
S.M. Muneer said that presently the TDAP is working on creating awareness among the businessmen about right market places in the world.
He said the TDAP is a facilitator and would extend maximum facilitation to the entrepreneurs who are the torchbearers and need all the encouragement.
He said that the government is quite alive to the issues and challenges being faced by the business community and taking necessary measures to overcome these problems.
To a question, S.M. Muneer said that expansion of tax net is need of the hour as it would not only bring progress and prosperity
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz stressed the need for market and product diversification to give a jumpstart to the declining exports.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz suggested that TDAP should focus on exploring the new markets for Pakistan especially for value added items. It is high time to diversify our products and export markets. About 49% of Pakistan’s exports regularly find their way to just six countries from the last few years.
“It is a matter of concern that in 2013, the total worth of our exports was dollar 25.1 billion but in 2014 it went down to dollar 24.7 billion. Unlike Pakistan, the regional countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have otherwise excelled in exports”, the LCCI President added.
He said that there is something wrong in our case as Bangladesh has left us far behind in terms of exports earnings. In 2008, the worth of Pakistan’s exports was 25% more than that of Bangladesh but now scenario has been totally reversed. He said that these figures imply that our efforts are only meant to maintain the current level of exports rather targeting to excel like our neighbouring countries.
Former LCCI President Iftikhar Ali Malik said that all efforts are being made to win facilitation for small traders. He said that the interest of business community would be safeguarded at every cost.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that a lot was said upon getting duty free access to EU market after being awarded GSP plus status by EU Commission. He said that it was estimated that this scheme would enable Pakistan to export additional products worth over USD dollar 1 billion but we have yet to witness its actual benefits.
He quoted that as soon as GSP plus status was given to Pakistan, the Indian government announced certain incentives for their textiles exporters so that they could wipe out the edge available to Pakistan due to this scheme. They did succeed in their planning. He said that TDAP should have acted proactively while proposing the government to take required steps. He stressed the need for measures to increase Pakistan exports under this scheme.
He said that there should be regular interaction among the TDAP and leading chambers of the country. He urged the senior officials of TDAP to visit chambers on regular basis in order to assist them in the planning of international delegations and exhibitions.
He said that majority of the high-flying fairs and exhibitions are organized in Karachi. TDAP Lahore office should also be actively engaged in organizing events in EXPO Centre Lahore.
He also sought the TDAP support for the LCCI international delegations for exploring new markets.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan has signed various FTAs and PTAs with many countries but overall we have somewhat failed to greatly benefit as compared to our foreign counterparts.
“We should revisit these agreements and deeply study the market conditions o increase our exports in real terms ensuring win-win situation for both the countries”, Mian Nauman Kabir concluded.