(09 March, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said that export cannot meet the projected targets, which is visible from decline in exports till December 2017. Contraction in the world markets and reduction in the global commodity index remained major exogenous factors that affected Pakistan exports. There were many items where Pakistan exported greater volume but overall exports value still declined due to low prices.
Contrary to this, some export items experienced increase in their unit prices but the volumetric decline was more pronounced. These export items included tanned leather, leather gloves, pharmaceuticals, plastic materials, carpets and electric fans. It is an alarming situation for the export sector, He added.
The veteran business leader said that the export growth is achieved either through expansion of existing industries, achieving economies of scale or through new export-oriented industries while product diversification is more an outcome of technology transfers and innovations. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not been successful in making noticeable headway in any of these areas despite several incoherent policies announced to incentivize investments and exports.
The performance of Pakistan’s export industry is evident through its dwindling sectoral progress wherein almost every sector, negative export growth has been recorded in the past few years. However there is increase of 15 percent being recorded in exports in the first two months of 2018, which is evident of the benefit of 180 billion export package and a hope for exports development of Pakistan in future.
The former minister said Pakistani exporters are facing the brunt of high cost of doing business; particularly the elevated utilities’ prices and wages, due to which Pakistan has lost its export competitiveness to a large extent. Pakistan’s exports are suffering from low export diversification in terms of both markets and products. More than half of what Pakistan’s manufactures is sent to just few markets.
It is recommended to implement latest machinery and equipment especially in the export oriented industries and to search new international markets with competitive advantages for the local products. With Government support Pakistani industrialists can mark greatest success in the international markets. Taxes and duties on import of machinery should be removed on import of industrial equipment and machinery in order to resolve the industry’s problem with respect to modern equipment and take immediate steps to support the declining exports of the Country.