KARACHI: Pakistan will sign trade deals with Uzbekistan in July to explore more than $ 90 billion in export potential in Central Asia to meet an unprecedented $ 35 billion export target set for China. 2021-2022 fiscal year.
For connectivity in Central Asia, Prime Minister Imran Khan leaves for Uzbekistan on July 13. During his three-day visit (July 13-15), Pakistan and Uzbekistan will sign transit and preferential trade agreements, Prime Minister Abdul Razak Dawood’s trade adviser said in an exclusive interview with members of the Council of Economic and Energy Journalists (CEEJ) based in Karachi in Islamabad.
“The two countries have agreed to allocate dedicated space in Gwadar and Tashkent to establish warehousing facilities to assist each other in transporting goods to other countries in the region,” he said. . We planned to transport goods under the TIR Convention because the very first truck from Uzbekistan reached Pakistan under the TIR Convention in 48 hours, he said. “The government plans to offer loans to carriers to update the country’s dilapidated logistics network,” he said.
As part of the tariff rationalization as an instrument of growth, the government made export products competitive in the federal budget 2021-22 by rationalizing the tariff lines of more than 4,000 raw materials, or about 42% of the total raw materials imported. The area of interest for tariff rationalization was active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), poultry, engineering and textiles. The tariff for packaging raw materials, iron and steel, agricultural products would also be rationalized in the next fiscal year, Razak informed. Speaking about the restructuring of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), he said around ten trade advisers had been dismissed from their posts since September 2018, due to poor performance and now officials at TDAP, who had national responsibilities, product-based responsibilities to improve their performance, ”he said.
“As part of the strategic trade policy, incentives are now linked to product diversification and exporters now have to show more diversification in their products to get more incentives from the government,” Razak said.
Pakistan recorded record exports of $ 25.3 billion, including $ 15.5 billion in textiles and $ 2 billion in IT services in fiscal year 2020-2021, or nearly $ 4 billion in more than the US $ 21.4 billion achieved in 2019-2020. While admitting the impact of the Covid situation on record exports, Razak advocates a “high goal, high yield approach”, noting that the government has set an export target of $ 35 billion, of which $ 28 billion for goods and $ 7 billion. for services for the current fiscal year 2021-2022.
“We know it would be a Herculean task to accomplish because the world is opening up and everyone is going to enter the export market, but everyone should move on and try to make it doable,” he said. he declares.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021