Sunday, January 24, 2021

Pakistan’s value-added export industries will be prioritized, say PM Khan

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On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government was taking steps on a priority basis to promote those industries which have been the main source of value-added export items.

Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Tanners Association, the Prime Minister said due to positive and business-friendly policies of the incumbent government, the industrial wheel was moving at a fast pace, yielding tangible improvement as indicated from the economic indicators.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar, PM’s advisor on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, PM’s special assistant Waqar Masood and chairman Pakistan Tanners Association Anjum Zafar, PM office media wing said in a press release.

The Prime Minister was apprised of the increasing demand for Pakistani leather products across the world. The local leather had been in high demand across the globe due to its high quality and affordable cost.

Read more: Pakistan’s exports growing faster than India, Bangladesh post-COVID-19 first wave: Bloomberg

With 300 percent value addition on Pakistani leather and by exporting it to globally renowned brands, it could add billions of rupees in the country’s foreign exchange, it was further added.

It was further told that Pakistan had been producing high-quality leather in huge amounts but due to the current coronavirus pandemic and some other reasons, the tanning industry had been facing problems.

The prime minister assured the delegation of the government’s complete cooperation in enhancing the capacity of leather related industry to its full scale.

Pakistan’s exports have risen the fastest in the region since March 2020, Bloomberg had reported. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf’s government eased the lockdown restrictions earliest in the region and hence the recovery of the economy began sooner than regional neighbors.

Read more: Pakistan’s mango exports stalled by coronavirus pandemic

Bangladesh and India both suffered worse lockdowns. India has suffered many times the COVID-19 cases that Pakistan has. Since working conditions were restored significantly quicker in Pakistan, outbound shipments have grown at a faster pace than Bangladesh and India as textiles, which account for half of the total export, led the recovery, data show. Islamabad saw total shipments grow 7% in September, compared with New Delhi’s 6% and Dhaka’s 3.5%.

Back in July 2020, Advisor for Commerce, Textile, Industry, and Production, and Investment of Pakistan, Abdul Razak Dawood had appreciated exporters for showing good performance during the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 as compared to the regional counterparts, on his Twitter.

Taking to his Twitter handle, he had written that: “I want to congratulate all our exporters on the good performance in 2019-20, in spite of the very challenging situation caused by COVID-19. Our exporters were only 6% less than 2019-20, while our regional countries Bangladesh was down 17% and India down by 14%.”

Pakistan’s exports for the month of December 2020 grew by 18.3% to USD 2.357 billion as compared to USD 1.993 billion in December 2019. “This is the Hightest export ever in the month of December. For the period July-December 2020, our exports increased by 4.9% to USD 12.104 billion as compared to USD 11.533 billion in the corresponding period last year,” Abdul Razak Dawood expressed.

Read more: “Remarkable turnaround” in economy despite Covid-19: PM Khan

“This shows the resilience of the economy of Pakistan and it is a vindication of the government’s policy to keep the wheels of economy running during COVID-19 pandemic. I commend our exporters for achieving this feat during these testing times & urge them to aggressively focus on capturing a larger share of international trade,” he added.

In another extraordinary achievement, for the first time ever, Pakistan’s exports to the United Kingdom crossed one billion for first six months of any financial year. “For July-December 2020, the exports to UK grew by 21% to USD 1,029 million as compared to USD 852 million in Jul-Dec 2019,” informed Razak Dawood. 

Pakistan’s top import and exports partners include the United States, China, United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Germany. Its major exports include textile at around 23 percent, followed by cotton and rice. The United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics (UN Comtrade) shows that Pakistan’s most efficient exports includes cotton, rice, fruits, fish, leather apparel, linen, cotton fabrics, antiques and suits and ensembles. However, these products are not in the high value-added categories. Thus, government’s decision to focus on high value-added export industries would prove beneficial for Pakistan’s exports and economy.

Read more: A look back at Pakistan’s exports in 2020

Courtesy: APP with additional input from GVS news desk

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