LAHORE   -   Advisor to Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has said that 14 per cent rise in exports and 18 per cent fall in imports in July 2019 as compared to July 2018 suggested that things were moving in right direction.

Speaking at the LCCI Export Trophy – 2019 on Monday, he said that the present regime was rectifying the past mistakes on economic front. LCCI President Almas Hyder, Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal also spoke at the event attended by Executive Committee members, former office-bearers and businessmen.

In their respective addresses, Abdul Razak Dawood and Almas Hyder were of the view that country’s survival lies in exports to get rid of the economic stress.

While giving an overview of past situation, Razak Dawood said that uncontrolled imports, under invoicing, contrary to the fact tariff structures and irrational exchange rate played havoc with the economy. He said that big industries stopped manufacturing and started import because there was 5% duty imposed on finished goods as compared to 20% on the import of raw materials.

“It was responsibility of the government to correct the things. If we don’t do that, we will have to suffer. Our survival lies in exports. It is government’s responsibility to give businessmen market access. China has agreed to extend duty free access on 313 tariff lines. I have targeted USA, Canada, Japan, Korea and Australia to get market access for Pakistani businessmen”, the Advisor to the PM added. He said that engineering and other sectors had been focused for exports. Now Pakistan was exporting tractors to Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, he said.

Almas Hyder said that current account deficit was the biggest problem of Pakistan. Huge gap between imports and exports created issues like currency devaluation, rise in interest rates and various others. He said that exports have a paramount importance in Pakistan’s economy as these were the main source of revenue generation (around 24 billion dollars) and employment creation.

“Exports are also imperative for maintaining the balance of payment. As Pakistan aims to become a competitive economy in the region and grow above 7%, it is imperative for us to enhance our export revenues to deal with multi-dimensional economic challenges that have confronted our nation”, he added.