ICCI calls for diversification of products, markets to boost exports

ISLAMABAD   –  The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Monday urged the government to focus on diversification of exportable products and markets in order to boost the volume of exports, which would ensure achieving better economic growth of the country and address many economic woes.

Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President ICCI, said that Pakistan was mostly relying on textiles for exports as this sector was making 60 percent contribution to the total exports of the country.

However, he urged that the government to cooperate with the private sector for diversification of exportable products and markets to improve exports in order to tackle Pakistan’s long-standing economic woes and achieve sustained growth. He said that many sectors including engineering, IT, pharmaceuticals, Halal food, marble, granite, gems & jewellery and others have good potential to improve Pakistan’s exports and emphasized the need to take solid measures to facilitate these potential sectors to achieve fast growth in exports.

ICCI president urged the government to focus on emerging markets for exports, including Russia, Central Asian region, Africa, Turkey, South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). He said that acquisition of new markets and focus on diversification was very important to take our exports to the higher levels. He said that it was essential for Pakistan to upgrade its industrial sector for producing value-added products for exports. However, the withdrawal of tax exemptions through a mini-budget would create more problems for upgradation of industries and urged that the government should reconsider its decision. Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh, Senior Vice President, and Muhammad Faheem Khan, Vice President ICCI, said that Pakistan has a lot of potential to increase annual IT exports up to $5 billion from the current level of $2.5 billion.

They urged that the government to cooperate with domestic software houses in setting up their liaison offices in potential markets that would go a long way in improving exports of the IT sector. They further urged the government to facilitate the introduction of modern technology and tools in the agriculture sector that would help in increasing our per acre yield and improving exports of this sector.

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