Export target of US$25b can’t be achieved due to lockdown: Dawood
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood has said that the country’s exports target of US$25 billion could not be achieved due to the ongoing situation of lockdown in the country and it could decline to more or less to $ 22 billion.
The exports decreased in April by 50 percent and home remittances also declined in this situation, Abdul Razzak Dwaood said in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) here.
To a question he said Pakistan could get benefits from low oil prices in current evolving situation in international market and there would be no larger impact of Current Account Deficit (CoD) because of decline in petroleum prices.
He also vowed for opening the industrial sector in coming months to provide opportunity to the local exporters to get more benefits in current scenario and major shift in international trade market.
He urged the exporters to get orders freely from all countries including textile industry to tap the new opportunities in the world market.
Replying to a question on impact of current situation on country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he forecast that it would contract by 0.5 percent during the current fiscal year.
He said that even in recent challenging situation Pakistan has opened various sectors including information technology and services sectors.
To a question on textile sector export, he said that Pakistan was receiving big orders for face masks and sanitizers.
“We have also received huge demand of Hydroxychloroquine and Pakistan has exported raw material to Germany and Turkey and 1000,000 tablets to Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Replying to another question on United States-Pakistan Trade dialogue, he said that Pakistan wanted access in potential US market for this “We demanded the US government to eliminate the travel restriction for Pakistan to increase bilateral trade.”
He said that during the visit of Prime Minster Imran Khan, both the countries agreed to start dialogue for searching new avenues for bilateral trade in US and Pakistan.
The adviser said that Pakistan also demanded to the US and other international brands and companies to open their offices in Pakistan for bringing foreign investment in the country.
He said that Pakistan wanted access in Textile, Information Technology and Services sectors in potential US market to increase our exports.
Replying to another question on Afghan Transit Trade, he said that our trade agreement was going to expire in June 2021, and now “we are in preparation to negotiate with them”.
He said Afghan transit trade gave loss to local industry.
He said that Pakistan wants to increase the bilateral trade with Afghanistan but “we had some reservation and there is need to take some measures to protect the local industrial sector”. Replying to another question, he said that the government wanted to increase customs duties instead of direct income tax. The government wants to document the non tax businesses and bring them in tax net, he added.
He said the government might not change export tariffs and tax slabs in the upcoming budget (2020-21). - APP