ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has taken numerous measures to reduce trade deficit and to have positive trade balance with every trading partner.
Following the MoC’s initiatives, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has arranged trade fairs and exhibition to promote Pakistani exports and TDAP took Pakistani exporters to 10 exhibitions in USA alone during 2013-14.
An official source at MoC told this scribe here on Saturday that although it was not feasible for any country to have positive trade balance with every trading partner yet the lone option in the view of MoC was to address the issue of negative trade balance by enhancing exports.
Therefore the MoC following the guidelines of Government, has taken numerous initiatives to enhance exports,” the source said, adding that Pakistani exports to the European Union (EU) increased by $ 333 million during the period Jan-April, 2014 due to preferential treatment given to Pakistani products under GSP Plus Scheme for which Pakistan became eligible in 2013.
Similarly, the source said that the government facilitated the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian States on exploring and utilizing the vast potential of investment and trade in the region.
“Pakistan is also a part of agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area, an initiative which aims to promote regional trade,” the official source further added, saying that Pakistan China Free Trade Agreement, which was effective since 2007 also increased trade between the two neighbors, consequently the bilateral trade increased from $ 3 billion to $ 9 billion annually.
“Steps have been taken to increase our exports to the Japan and Business to Business (B2B) dialogue and 4th Japan Pakistan Government Business Dialogue was held in March, 2012,” the source added, saying that a MoU was signed with South Korea to enter into a Free Trade Agreement. The source said that Pakistan and Malaysia had Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement for Closer Economic Partnership and bilateral trade between the two countries was at $ 1.23 billion in 2007 and in 2013 it has reached $ 2.12 billion.
“Pakistan signed a free trade agreement with Indonesia in 2013 and TDAP arranged trade fairs and exhibition to promote Pakistani exports,” the source observed, adding that Expo Pakistan was held every year where buyers all over the world were invited. “Furthermore, the source said that Second Life Style Pakistan Exhibition was also being held in India to promote our products in Indian market. TDAP took Pakistani exporters to 10 exhibitions in USA alone during 2013-14.”