(March 06, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that Indonesia has officially offered access to twenty export products in order to make the balance of trade in favor of Pakistan. Those items include mangoes, broken rice, tobacco, apparel, knitwear and other textile products. This facility will help Pakistan to improve its exports to Indonesia. The balance of bilateral trade was negative for Pakistan despite having preferential trade agreement between both countries. Several amendments have been made to FTA in order to make it more favorable for Pakistan due to efforts of ministry of commerce and secretary commerce Younus Dagha who met with Indonesian minister of commerce and stressed on removal of non tariff barriers for Pakistani products to enter Indonesian markets.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that the continues efforts of Pakistan get successful and direct access have been granted to 20 export items of Pakistan’s choice effective from March 1, 2019, which will tilt the balance of bilateral trade in country’s favor. The FTA between Pakistan and Indonesia came into existence in 2012 but it adversely affected the Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia. Pakistan’s exports were declined to $ 141 million in 2016 which were $ 236 million in 2011; however it jumped to $ 296 million in 2017.
The Former Minister said that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia stood at $ 1.6 billion at the time of signing FTA which has increased by $ 1.2 billion in 2017 to $ 2.8 billion given to huge rise in Indonesian exports to Pakistan from $ 1.5 billion in 2013 to $ 2.5 billion in 2017.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan has exported 200000 MT of wheat and white rice respectively to Indonesia in the previous year, however special permission of exporting mangoes in the coming season has been granted to Pakistan, which will help in boosting country’s exports and will tilt the balance of trade in Pakistan’s favor.
Mian Zahid Hussain Said that Pak – Turkey trade agreement is still pending for which government’s consideration is required. In addition, all trade agreements with different countries need to be reviewed in order to make them more beneficial and supportive for strengthening Pakistan’s exports. New international markets need to be looked for in order to boost exports and export sector products should be diversified and customized in accordance to international demand for which research and development centers need to establish across country, so that Pakistani products may be sold on better prices in international markets.