Trade: (Increasing trade gap can sink economy: PBIF)

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan is fast loosing export market due to want of enabling policies for the export sector which is increasing trade gap that can damage economy.

He said Pakistani exporters are finding it difficult to compete with other countries resulting in their retreat from international markets which must get immediate attention of the authorities concerned. An ambitious export target of 50 billion dollars has been set in the proposed trade policy while the ground realities are otherwise, he added in a statement issued here.

He said the graph of export is showing downward trend calling for immediate steps aimed at bailing out the troubled export sector. Mian Zahid Hussain who is also president of All Karachi Industrial Alliance said that the trade deficit in July is 34.62 percent more than the last July’s deficit while annual trade deficit was recorded at 22 billion dollars for the last year despite receding oil prices.

APTMA has projected fall of four billion dollars in exports while the situation of rice exports is far from satisfactory. Similarly, bed ware exporters have reported a two percent fall while leather exports are down by 28 percent resulting in massive layoffs. Mian Zahid Hussain further said that export of fruits and vegetables are also nosediving with mango sector worst affected.

He said that not a single sector will remain immune form dwindling exports therefore government should revive this sector on modern lines, appoint managers on merit, and remove old guard as well as conspirators to recover economy.

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