Islamabad, March 31, 2017 (PPI-OT): The move of the Government to ink Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to enhance trade is praiseworthy as Pakistan badly need to enhance its exports, a business leader said Friday.
The GCC countries that include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE have not implemented stringent measures like western countries therefore a trade deal will result in increased exports, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, former president ICCI.
Trade liberalization between Pakistan and GCC nations will help all the countries to enter in new era of cooperation and economic partnership, he added.
Atif Ikram Sheikh said that Pakistan’s exports continue to fall despite best efforts which is not only a matter of concern but it also calls for efforts to explore new markets.
He said that textile is Pakistan’s major export and second largest job provider but this sector is not performing well despite many supportive steps by the government.
Textile exports have come down by 20 percent since 2013 while reduced cotton output has become a threat to our cotton economy, he added.
The business leader said that non-textile exports have also decreased by 40 percent in the first eight months of the current fiscal which will widen the deficit.
He said that government should diversify exports as Bangladesh and Vietnam is eating up Pakistan’s share in the international market while we lack capacity to compete with them.
Supply of electricity and gas to the non-textile sector should be increased and steps must be taken to reduce their cost of doing business.
The sectors that has shown dismal performance as far as the exports are concerned include petroleum, carpets, rugs, sports goods, leather and leather products, footwear, surgical goods, engineering goods, gur, cement, gems, furniture, rice etc.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950