ISLAMABAD: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) has said that falling exports and deteriorating remittances was alarming for the government.
Chairing the business advisory meeting, FPCCI Vice President Riaz Khattak said Pakistan forex reserves are under pressure as exports and remittances continue to fall while imports are growing; our exports fell by seven percent in July as compared to the exports of July last year.
He said this situation demands extra attention to the dwindling export sector that holds pivotal position, adding that despite incentives given to exporters in the budget, the performance of inept export managers of TDAP was visible.
Similarly among the many factors responsible for our dismal exports, decades of protectionist policies have rendered local industry uncompetitive and inefficient. A protectionist policy works if it protects an infant industry; but protecting mature industries simply does not make sense and is not sustainable.
Even with infant industries, there should be solid plans to develop them, invest in their infrastructure, assist them by driving innovation like in the sectors of horticulture and minerals; he added.
We may realized that India has used protection polices very effectively and now their exports nearly $300 billion. Their exports were just $23 billion two decades ago, and have grown 15% per annum on average.
On the issue of shifting the office of TDAP, Riaz Khattak said the early shifting of the TDAP’s head office to Islamabad is the need of the day, as the business community belonging to the other provinces had to face great difficulties while visiting the TDAP head office; only its Regional Office in Karachi would be sufficient.
He added that the businessmen from Punjab, KPK and Gilgit Baltistan do not have easy access to TDAP head office in Karachi, due to the distance getting their cases cleared for participating in the international trade fairs and exhibitions and in finding amicable solutions for their business problems in this regard was coming across as a great ordeal.
VP FPCCI seconded the government proposal of shifting the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan´s (TDAP) head office from Karachi to Islamabad to facilitate the business community, as well as enabling proper check and balance and execution of trade policies in a timely manner, in line with the prime minister’s vision.
He also rejected the notion that the decision would serve as a catalyst for a further drop in exports.