ICCI welcomes Chines assurance to double its imports from Pakistan

ICCI welcomes Chines assurance to double its imports from Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has welcomed the assurance of Chinese leadership during the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China to double its imports from Pakistan and termed it a positive development as it would help in reducing Pakistan’s trade imbalance with China and improve the country’s dwindling forex reserves.

However, they said the Pakistani leadership should have pressed with the Chinese leadership for enhanced market access to Pakistan on similar lines as China has given to Bangladesh and member countries of ASEAN.

In a statement ICCI President Ahmed Hassan Moughal said this arrangement would have given significant boost to local exports to China.

He said China’s imports from Jan-July 2018 were over $1.22 trillion which showed that it was a huge market for Pakistan and urged that Pakistani exporters for fully capitalize this huge potential for exports.

Ahmed Hassan urged the government to focusing on expanding export-based infrastructure through policy measures in order to trigger the growth of exports.

He said by focusing on export-based infrastructure, Vietnam had turned the East Asian Crisis of 1990s into an economic miracle.

He said the introduction of sound economic policies enabled Vietnam to increase its exports from single digit in 1995 to triple digits in 2017 in terms of billion dollars as Vietnam’s exports of goods had crossed $213 billion in 2017.

He said Pakistan was facing serious trade, current account and fiscal deficits and the best way to reduce these deficits on permanent basis was to create an enabling environment for exports.

He urged the government for taking all possible measures to facilitate the local industry in enhancing exports, especially to China.

For this purpose, he urged the government for developing and promoting local industries on modern lines for producing competitive products.

ICCI Senior Vice President Rafat Farid and Vice President Iftikhar Anwar Sethi said focus on improving export-based infrastructure would produce multiple benefits for the economy as it would promote exports, accelerate the growth of industrial sector, create new jobs for youth, improve country’s trade balance and reduce poverty.

They said focus on exports promotion helped Vietnam to make spectacular decrease in poverty as the percentage of Vietnamese population living below the poverty line fell from 58 percent in 1993 to 9.8 percent in 2018.

They were of the view that Pakistan could achieve similar results by focusing on trade and exports and emphasized that the government should partner with private sector to realize these goals.