ISLAMABAD-Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood has said that Pakistan has started export of jute products to several countries.

The advisor made these remarks in a meeting to review the implementation of plans under the trade policy and other initiatives of the Ministry of Commerce to promote geographical and product diversification to enhance the exports of Pakistan.

Talking about the diversification of products, Razak Dawood said, “Export of jute from Pakistan is an inspiring success story as we have tapped into the markets of Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, Turkey, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.” Dawood underscored that the Ministry of Commerce has a firm belief that reducing duties on raw materials reduces the anti export bias and enhances exports. He added: “The export of jute products from Pakistan is a good example that we can still compete, through importation of raw jute, with countries like India and Bangladesh, which produce jute in abundance.”

Underlining the principles of diversification, the advisor stated that export of jute products to is a key element in our product diversification policy, by placing emphasis on non-traditional exports. He further noted that geographical diversification policies are also showing signs of success as our jute products have found new global markets.

It was briefed in the meeting that the duty on import of raw jute was brought down to zero in the fiscal budget 2019-20. In addition, the removal of Additional Customs Duties in the budget 2020-21 has made our jute industry more cost competitive. As a result, more orders are being received from the international market and we are looking at an unprecedented rise in the growth of jute manufacturing industry. It was shared in the meeting that export sales of jute products went up by 148% in terms of weight, fetching more than double foreign exchange in 2019-20, as compared to 2018-19.

At the end of the meeting, Razak Dawood appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce as well as the exporters for the success of the trade policy of the government. He noted that albeit the exports are small but important and these numbers would improve in all likelihood, while the jute manufacturing would continue to create more jobs for thousands of Pakistanis.