Islamabad: The grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union has opened up new opportunities for improving exports and private sector should accelerate its efforts for achieving US$ 30 billion export target to reap full benefits of this facility, said Mr. Shahzad Hussain Rana, Director General, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan while exchanging views with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
He said we have to strengthen the supply side to facilitate the exporters. Dilating upon Pak-India trade potential, he said currently trade is in India’s favour; however Pakistan has good potential to increase trade with India if India removes all technical barriers, which are acting as main hindrance in promoting trade up to the real potential. He was of the view that trade and investment stakes will promote peace between the two countries.
Mr. Shahzad Rana said that with the increase in per capita income in China, labour cost of the country has gone up while Pakistan offers cheap and quality labour, which could be an important factor to attract Chinese investment.
He said Pakistani entrepreneurs should further strengthen their contacts with Chinese counterparts to woo them to invest in Pakistan. He said that peaceful environment in Pakistan will greatly help in attracting more Chinese investment to the country.
He assured that TDAP will provide cooperation to ICCI in its initiatives aimed at improving country’s trade and exports. Both sides discussed areas of collaboration to promote Pakistan’s economic interests with joint efforts.
Speaking at the occasion, Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Trade Development Authority of Pakistan should support Chambers of Commerce in inviting foreign delegations so that they could visit our country to explore full potential of trade and investment with Pakistan.
He said private sector needs the support of FBR, Pakistan Customs and other relevant government organizations to improve exports as the current approach of these organizations is not helpful in such efforts. Government should also patronize the manufacturing sector in value addition of products as without value added products Pakistan cannot make significant increase in exports.
He said apart from textile industry, government should also support other industries to promote trade and exports up to the potential. Especially the industrial, engineering and agriculture sectors should be given preference in energy and other facilities to strengthen the economy.
Shaban Khalid said Pakistan has to increase manufacturing scale to compete effectively with India. He said various countries are offering special packages to woo Chinese investors and Pakistan should also come up with good incentives for foreign investors to enhance investment in the country.