ISLAMABAD-Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood has said that Pakistan is rapidly diversifying its exports into high quality and globally competitive engineering products.

He was chairing an internal review meeting to discuss the finalisation of Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF), at Commerce Division. While discussing the major purposes of the policy, the advisor commerce stated that one of the objectives of the STPF is to achieve diversification of our export in products other than the traditional ones. He explained that through promotion of exports in new sectors, particularly the engineering and pharmaceuticals sectors; we are going to reduce our reliance on five traditional export sectors. He added that this has also been supported in the Budget 2020-21, with reduction of import duties on raw materials and the tariff rationalization measures. Currently, the draft STPF is being reviewed by the stakeholders and their views are being incorporated in the final draft, which will be placed before the ECC of the Cabinet shortly.

An official of the ministry of commerce informed that draft of STPF is almost ready, which has been sent to ministry of finance and State Bank of Pakistan for their input. “It will be likely be presented in ECC meeting within next couple of weeks,” he added. The government would preset the STPF before the federal cabinet for approval after ECC. Official informed that incumbent government wanted to increase the country’s exports in next five years by giving incentives to exporters. Under the proposed STPF, the government has estimated to enhance the exports to $26 billion in next fiscal year from estimated $23 billion of the ongoing fiscal year. Exports would further increase to $31 billion in 2021-22, $35 billion in 2022-23, $40 billion in 2023-24 and $46 billion in 2024-25.

Talking about the emerging sectors for export opportunities, Razak Dawood underscored that Pakistan’s engineering industry, especially home appliances, is now producing internationally competitive quality products. He added that in pursuance of the diversification policy, export of microwave ovens from Pakistan has been confirmed for the first time and these are going to be exported by Dawlance, a Turkish investment in Pakistan. He stated that, with the support from the government, other engineering products will soon follow suit and get exported to the rest of the world. In this regard, duties on import of components of televisions have been reduced to promote local manufacturing of television sets, which has a potential for export as well in the coming years.

The advisor was optimistic that the results of the first-ever Mobile Phone Manufacturing Policy recently announced by the government would soon become visible in the coming months in the form of increase in exports of locally manufactured mobile devices from Pakistan.