Govt committed to enhance exports by facilitating exporters

KARACHI: The Government is fully committed to enhance exports by facilitating exporters in ease of doing business, reducing cost of manufacturing and to increase export efficiency, to achieve this objective the problems and issues confronting to export sectors shall also be resolved on priority basis. This was stated by Federal Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera during his visit to Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Friday, says a Press release.
In his address to leading value added textile exporters, Secretary Commerce asserted upon the need of close liaison between the Government and Private Sector to create a win-win situation. The Government wants to work closely like hands in gloves with private sector on the matters of national interest.
He said Advisor to PM on Commerce is very keen to address the issues and problems confronting to exporters. Sooner I assumed the additional charge of textile division, Advisor to PM Razak Dawood who is taking personal interest to expedite refunds and address the liquidity problems of exporters, instructed to disburse pending Rs17.6 billion to the textile exporters against DDT and DLTL claims of 2009-11, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-21. Improvement in the process of Refunds to exporters is also witnessed due to personal interest of Razak Dawood.
Secretary Commerce also informed that with efforts of Commerce Ministry, in 2nd Phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, from Jan 1, 2020, Pakistani exporters will get the advantage to enhance exports duty free in 313 tariff lines. Moreover, this will result in 75pc of total trade liberalisation for Pakistan in terms of tariff lines and 92pc in terms of trade volume.
The 2nd phase of FTA is totally different and advantages to exporters as compared to 1st phase. Furthermore, Government has also introduced National Tariff Policy in which duties of multiple raw material and intermediate goods are reduced owing to this cost of doing business will be reduced and exporters will reap benefits from this in the coming years.
To capture Pakistan’s export share in African Market, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce join hands for collective efforts whereby, the number of Embassies and Trade Missions have been increased and Commercial Counselors have been appointed at 10 countries out of 14 countries of African Region. In this regard, Commerce Ministry is organizing 1st Africa Pakistan Trade Development Conference at Nairobi on 30-31 January 2020. The conference will include multiple sessions, including B2B sessions.
Breakthrough in the trade relations between Pakistan and Russia is also witnessed, the two countries have addressed their long pending trade matter and an amount of $ 93.5 million have been paid and the businessmen from the two countries have received their pending payments. With this effort, Pakistan has become the first country to clear the debts and starts a new chapter of trade with Russia and Euroasian Region.
Due to change in climate and weather condition, cotton crop is affected. Therefore, Prime Minister have directed to take serious measures to increase cotton crop in the next season with improvement in cotton seed and urea. Additionally, government is also working on research & development to enhance cotton production. Government is also working on the restructuring of TDAP to establish sector-wise departments to focus each and every export sector for development and enhancement of exports. The PM is taking personal interest in enhancement of exports and regularly calling the meetings for the purpose.
Earlier, Aslam Karsaz, Zonal Chairman, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association welcomed the Secretary Commerce Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera at the Association. He recognized the professional exposure and acumen of the Secretary Commerce and hoped that the Ministry shall achieve the desired objective under his team lead.
Chairman Council of All Pakistan Textile Associations, Muhammad Zubair Motiwala voiced that there is a dire need to change the mindset of bureaucracy to focus and accord priority to exports. This will solve the major problems. He requested the Secretary Commerce to use his good offices to keep the existing gas tariffs for export industry and as any further increase bring detrimental effects on the manufacturing and will exorbitantly increase the cost of manufacturing. He also urged to reduce the duty tariffs of textile raw materials. He also demanded the Federal Govt. to take the ownership of Mega Projects of Karachi and rather than giving funds, should construct on its own projects like CETPs and K-IV.
Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum and Chief Coordinator PHMA in this welcome address to Secretary Commerce conveyed gratitude for disbursement of long pending payment to exporters of DLTL & DDT and congratulated Ministry of Commerce for great progress towards betterment of balance of trade by imposing duty on luxury goods and growth in exports by facilitating the exporters.
He demanded the Government to expedite refunds to exporters in view of their increasing liquidity problems and stated that the future of SMEs exporters in the hand of Govt. and for their survival it is necessary to release their refunds on time. In his presentation, Bilwani highlighted the existing great potential of knitwear exports and stated that provided the Government assures timely payments against refunds, rationalize gas tariff and reduced the cost of manufacturing the exports can be increased 15% every year which means a surplus of trade, more foreign exchange and generation of employment including females workers.
He also requested Secretary Commerce to establish the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee Office and Pakistan Institute of Cotton Research and Technology in Karachi previously established at M.T Khan Road. With required research, Pakistan can increase the cotton production.
Bilwani termed uninterrupted and quality supply of utilities – gas, power & water on reasonable rates to achieve quantum leap in exports. He suggested that the Federal Govt. should appoint focal persons at Karachi and other four big cities to resolve the issues related to exports.
Referring meeting of PM at Governor House, Karachi, he stated that it was agreed that Bangladesh Model be followed to refund to exporters. Contrary to this FASTER system was introduced for speedy refunds in 72 hours which is totally failed. Multiplying the financial hardships of exporters. Despite of issuance of RPOs, refunds have not been given.
He also suggested that the export oriented industries should be given identical facility and treatment like EPZ as they will fetch the foreign exchange to the country. Providing this facility at the various garment city projects, garment factories will be established on fast track and shall start exports.
Commenting on the containers handling capacity of Karachi ports, he articulated that the ports of Karachi hold the capacity to handle the double quantity of containers being handled presently. In case the exports are enhanced, the numbers of containers shall also enhance which will create traffic congestion and mess in Karachi City because the doors of all the ports are opened within the city.
The Government on serious note should plan in advance to widen the gates of all container terminal at the seaports and connect them with the motorways and highways directly through link roads while expanding the lanes of Northern Bypass and also start construction of southern bypass which was previously shelved.
He also demanded that Federal Govt. should intervene for execution of CETPs & K-IV in Karachi in national interest and take all steps and measure to facilitate in 24/7 movement of exports containers without this export enhancement at great extent is not possible.

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