LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to put off the agreement for Electronic Date Exchange (EDE) with China as it would do more harm than good.

In a statement, LCCI president Malik Tahir Javaid, senior vice president Khawaja Khawar Rashid and vice president Zeshan Khalil said that government has planned to establish Electronic Date Exchange system to capture the real value of imports from China. They feared that this system would affect the trade & industry and Pakistani economy would pay heavy cost.

The LCCI office-bearers said that over invoicing in China is common to get custom rebates and it is impossible to match trade data with China through Electronic Date Exchange system.

They said that reportedly only around 60 percent of the imported goods from China are currently coming under the free trade agreement and Electronic Date Exchange will cover only these goods while remaining would be out of its reach. They said that coverage to all imports from China would require changes in Chinese domestic laws, which is a long process.

They said that government would have to find out some other solution to the issue of mis-declaration and under invoicing in consultation with the stakeholders. They said that if this system is imposed without keeping in view the ground realities, it would promote smuggling that is already causing huge loss to the national economy.

Office-bearers of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry hoped that government would act wisely and would get feedback from the stakeholders regarding Electronic Date Exchange system.