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Industrialisation policy to be framed to boost exports

FAISALABAD: Pakistan’s exports have remained restricted to textile but a comprehensive industrialisation policy is being planned now where focus will also be on engineering, chemical, information technology and agriculture sectors, revealed Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Industry Abdul Razak Dawood.

Speaking to members of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), the adviser pointed out that over the last decade, many industrial units had been closed down and the country’s exports had also dropped from $25 billion to $20 billion.

“It is a clear indication that we have ignored our manufacturing sector, which is deemed necessary for wealth and job creation,” he said.

He announced that the government would fine-tune the ‘Made in Pakistan’ policy in light of proposals and recommendations made by the private sector.

He was critical of the free trade and preferential trade agreements signed with different countries, saying all these had proved counterproductive.

“China, Malaysia, Indonesia and even Turkey have got advantage of these agreements, but we remain a loser,” he said, adding Pakistan was already renegotiating its free trade deal with China, which would be completed in June next year.

Regarding Indonesia, the PM aide said it had given Pakistan duty-free access for 20 goods including denim and asked exporters to cash in on the facility in order to earn heavy foreign exchange for the country.

Dawood revealed that he or Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha would visit Malaysia to renegotiate the FTA. At present, the trade balance is in favour of Malaysia as its exports stand at around $1 billion against Pakistan’s exports of only $150 million.

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