ISLAMABAD - Senior Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim on Thursday said that Pakistan would grant most favoured nation (MFN) status to India after addressing reservations of the local industry.
“We are in process to grant MFN status to India and shall do it after addressing the reservations of local industry, as federal cabinet has already given approval for granting MFN status to India”, said Senior Federal Minister for Commerce while addressing post-trade policy press conference. He further said that government does not want to destroy the local industry of the country; therefore, we would address their reservations prior to grant MFN status to India. Secretary Commerce Muneer Qureshi and other senior officials of Ministry of Commerce also flanked the minister.
Briefing media on three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2012-15, Secretary Commerce Munir Qureshi said that exports target of $95 billion is realistic. The break-up of three years exports target of $95 billion revealed that government has fixed $7 billion exports target for the ongoing financial year 2012-2013, $31 billion for upcoming fiscal year 2013-2014 and $37 billion for the year 2014-2015. He said country’s exports have shown growth of 8 per cent during first six months (July-December) of the ongoing financial year against same period last year.
Secretary Commerce further said that Pakistan would increase exports to $1.5 billion to India in next three years, as currently our exports stood at $300 million per annum.
Talking about export-import (EXIM) bank, Munir Qureshi said that for the promotion of trade and to facilitate exports an EXIM Bank with an initial amount of seed money of Rs.1 billion would be established and next three years this amount would be increased to Rs.5 years.
On a question regarding delay in announcement of policy, Secretary Commerce said that ministry was taking several stakeholders on board that caused delay in policy. “We have also taken input from provincial governments before finalizing the three years trade policy”, he further added.
He informed that government has achieved the exports target fixed in last Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2009-2012. However, it failed to achieve exports initiatives proposed in previous three years trade policy due to less funding.
He rejected the notion that the policy would be changed once the government changes as the current government completing its tenure in March 2012. The trade policy has nothing to do with the change of the government, he added.
Earlier, Amin Fahim said that the principles of STPF 2012-15 as approved by the Cabinet were focused on regional trade, create regulatory efficiencies, promote agro-processed exports, increase exports from less developed regions of Pakistan, promote exports of service sector, enhance access to export financing and credit guarantees, and revamp export promotion agencies. The other focus of the policy, he said, included mobilizing new investment in export oriented industries, facilitating exporting industry to overcome energy crisis, enhancing product and market development diversification, undertaking effective trade diplomacy, increasing green exports, rationalizing role of women in exports and reforming and developing domestic commerce.