Lahore, January 28, 2013 (PPI-OT): Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has worked out plan to ensure substantial increase in Pakistan’s exports as the country has the potential to cater to the world.
This was stated by the Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Abid Javaid Akbar while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, former President Mian Muzaffar Ali, former Senior Vice President Tahir Javaid Malik and former Vice Presidents Aftab Ahmad Vohra and Saeeda Nazar also spoke on the occasion.
Abid Javaid Akbar said that Pakistan’s exports could go up to $50 billion in coming years as the TDAP has adopted a focused approach on the basis of wealth of information it is receiving from 45 Pakistani missions abroad.
The TDAP Chief Executive also hinted at the possibility of starting barter trade with D-8 countries that have weaker banking and financial system. He said that this proposition was discussed especially with Iran and Nigeria during the recently concluded D-8 Summit.
He said that the TDAP is ready to work with LCCI proposals regarding holding of exhibition at Lahore Expo Centre and patronizing Chamber’s delegations to various global destinations.
Abid Javaid Akbar 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.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar urged the TDAP to focus on exploring the market for Pakistani value added items as about one half of Pakistan’s exports go to seven countries only while one fourth exports consistently find their way in European Union.
He said that there is a lot about the potential of trade with regions and countries like SAARC, ASEAN, OIC, Central Asian Republics, Middle East, Africa, China, Iran and India, but unfortunately no strategy has been adopted to tap this potential.
The LCCI President said that in 2007, Pakistan’s total share of exports to Africa was 5.5% which inched up only to 6.7% in 2011. It speaks volume about our failure to tap such a huge market. TDAP must spearhead efforts to increase our share in Africa.
He said that it is high time that the government should follow the EU model for promoting the regional trade under ASEAN, SAARC, OIC and D-8.
The LCCI President said that TDAP should study the reasons of decline in Intra-SAARC and Intra-OIC trade. While suggesting ways to reverse these trends, TDAP should also focus on increasing the share of Intra-ASEAN trade.
He said that Pakistan’s business community is not well versed with the latest happenings regarding regulations for trade like GSP and GSP Plus etc. He urged the TDAP authorities to organize training sessions in collaboration with chambers of commerce to make the private sector aware about new policies changes around the globe.
He said that the delegations organized by TDAP should be prepared in close liaison with Chambers to ensure greater representation of private sector at international trading events such as trade fairs and single country exhibitions.
The LCCI President said that the TDAP should also support the LCCI trade delegations on preferential basis. It has become the regular feature of LCCI to arrange business delegation to almost all parts of the world.
He said that the Pakistan’s embassies aboard can play effective role in terms of sharing business information with Chambers besides organizing catalogue exhibitions, road shows and other business promotional activities.
Farooq Iftikhar said that TDAP should also interact with Pakistan’s embassies abroad and make the commercial sections more effective while giving them certain targets.
He said that there is a need to make greater efforts for our image building abroad. He said the government needs to revisit FTAs and PTAs as we have somewhat failed to greatly benefit as compared to our counterparts.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that with regard to awarding MFN status to India and adequately dealing with its possible consequences, TDAP needs to make serious efforts. It should organize seminars to discuss the advantages and dispel the fears of MFN.
The LCCI Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad demanded that there should be an equal distribution of Export Development Fund within the various region of Pakistan. The Lahore region should be given equal opportunity to take advantage of this facility.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854