(January 20, 2020)
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 Monday said proper economic direction is necessary to trigger growth. National development is impossible without boosting exports for which value-addition should be encouraged while the process of imports and exports should be streamlined.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government is studying the economic model of Vietnam on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan which is laudable. He said that the majority of exports of Pakistan are based on agriculture while the input of imported items in exports is just five percent.
The share of imported items in exports of Vietnam is 36 percent. Pakistan ports can only handle trade worth 70 billion dollars while Vietnam ports can handle imports and exports worth 400 billion dollars.
The former minister noted that many nations stabilized their economics through value-addition while some countries import raw material and semi-finished goods from Pakistan to sell them on higher rates after value-addition.
He said that import and export tariff of Pakistan is skewed which discourage news companies and SMEs from stepping into overseas trade. Foreign investment is also focused on local consumption as a very small portion of foreign investors would take interest in the export industry.
Industrialization is the only way to develop the country and increase electricity consumption to reduce power tariff, he said, adding that loans meant for industrial and agriculture sector find their way in the pockets of selected few which should be noticed.
The relief packages are also mismanaged to benefit some influential which is holding the economy back. He said that excessive focus on revenue is a reason behind the low volume of exports. He said that under the leadership of Mian Anjum Nisar, the FPCCI will fully cooperate with the government to put the economy on the right track.