Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan ordering the authorities to implement the subsidised electricity tariff for the export industry immediately is a step forward in the right direction. The PM’s order will surely help in bringing predictability and enhancing the business confidence of the export industry.

Perhaps, PM Khan must have now realised that cutting through the red tape is vital if the growth of Pakistan’s export industry is desired. Although Pakistan’s export sector has seen an increase of 3.62 per cent in July-February due to subsidised energy rates, it is also true that compared to our regional counterparts’ export growth we have yet to catch up with them.

It is about time for the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to understand ‘how’ of the phenomenal growth in the exports of other regional countries. The sole reason behind these countries export growth is the clear policies in this regard. These countries tried to minimise the bureaucratic hurdles and procedural delays that once caused hindrance in the growth of the export sector.

Both non-quantifiable, as well as quantifiable factors, can be held responsible for Pakistan’s failure in achieving the same pace with which other regional countries enhanced the growth of their exports. If the government wants a consistent growth of its export sector, the most crucial step it needs to take is reducing the high cost of doing business. It is one of the significant factors that Pakistani exports are uncompetitive in world markets. The tall claims of putting the economy on track will matter little if our exports do not increase.

It is clear by now that the only sustainable way to keep our economy stable is to focus on export-led growth. The success stories of our neighbouring countries and those in South-East Asia tell us that the state must support the export sector by all means necessary to achieve economic stability.