FPCCI lauds trade policy, demands payment of refund claims

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The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has termed the new trade policy encouraging in the prevailing circumstances and assured support to the government in achieving export target of $35 billion by 2018.

In a statement issued Wednesday, FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam said that export target can be achieved if refunds to the tune of Rs 210 billion are released, tax system is simplified and uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas is ensured.

He said the problems faced by the export sector should be resolved so that their cost of doing business can come down to make their products competitive in the international market.

Moreover, he said, Pakistan should explore new markets with special focus on Iran and Afghanistan as Pakistan can export rice, beef and other things worth $1 billion while exports to Afghanistan can be increased by 50 per cent.

Rauf Alam said that value addition should be preferred over export of raw materials while innovation and research should also be paid special attention.

He also called for improvement in infrastructure, skills development, labour productivity, usage of technology coupled with market research as diversification and sophistication of exports will pay dividends.

Meanwhile, United Business Group Secretary General Zubair Tufail lauded the government’s move to provide Rs20 billion to exporters over a period of three years. He said that payment of Rs 6 billion should be initiated immediately as only three months are left in the current fiscal year.

He also demanded attention to dispute resolution, intellectual property rights and improved tax and industrial policies which will attract investment.

The business leader lauded the move to establish export development councils, explore regional markets and revive dormant trade agreements with various countries for which transport infrastructure and security remain challenges.

Tufail also lauded decision of the government to support the SME sector which was a longstanding demand of the business community. He also praised the decision to contain wastage of agricultural produce in the country.