Govt forecasts 10pc increases in exports

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Though Pakistan achieved over 28 per cent growth in exports in the last financial year, the government is going to set the export target at $27.5 billion during July to June (2011-2012) with the increase of only 10 per cent. In light of the deepening financial crisis in the developed world, along with decreasing cotton prices in the international market, which could affect the country’s exports during this financial year, the government has forecast exports growth of at least 10 per cent, sources told Pakistan Today. As the major part of the country’s exports are based on textile sector, which contributed $14 billion out of the $25 billion exports achieved this year, reduction in price of cotton related goods would certainly affect over all export growth.
It is worth mentioning here that the ministry of commerce had yet to announce the ‘Trade Policy for year 2011-2012’ with fixing the export target after approval of budget 2011-12. However, to finalise the export target and project expected growth during the fiscal year 2012, Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) have consulted concerned stockholders on Monday during a meeting here at TDAP head office. The meeting, attended by Zafar Mehmood, Federal Secretary Commerce, and Tariq Iqbal Puri, Chief Executive TDAP, and prominent exporters and representatives of various trade bodies relating to textile and clothing; agro food; leather; mines & minerals; gems & jewellery, information technology, services sector, was held to formulate targets for FY 2011-12, in addition to removal of bottlenecks.
In the consultative meeting, stockholders were informed that the ministry and TDAP will continue providing enabling environment for exporters to further boost trade earnings. Stockholders and exporters were also informed that up to 10 per cent increase in the overall export value was expected in FY 2011-12. Talking to exporters, Zafar Mahmood, said that the country’s exporters could leverage from trade with India. He also informed that the ministry was taking steps for seeking approval of 72 items to be exported to European Union (EU) and getting GSP Plus status for Pakistan. Referring to various issues highlighted by exporters/traders, secretary commerce assured that effective inter-ministerial coordination will be ensured to resolve issues hampering exports; especially with federal board of revenue. A meeting will also be held with chief secretary Sindh for resolving matters affecting export of fisheries.
Tariq Puri stressed that the business community should focus more on regional markets, especially in China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Exporters were advised to focus more on value addition of products for fetching good export prices.
The government, through trade officers, will market their value-added products. Special focus shall be given to non-traditional sectors like marble and granite; petroleum and its products; gems and jewelry and services sector, especially the information technology and engineering consulting services. Exporters were also informed that TDAP was fast-tracking the dazzle park at Karachi near the airport for boosting the export of gems and jewelry.