Islamabad, August 18, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown great concerns over the falling exports of the country which have come down to $ 20.8 billion during the financial year 2015-16 as compared to $23.7 billion during 2014-15 and called upon the government to take urgent measures to arrest this dangerous trend as the dwindling exports would put pressure on the foreign exchange reserves and bring more problems to the economy.
Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that 12.24 percent annual decline was unprecedented in the recent export history of the country and stressed that government should conduct a candid analysis of export sector to diagnose the major reasons of its poor performance and to take corrective measures.
He said that falling exports and rising imports would increase the trade deficit and push the country towards more dependence on external borrowings. He stressed that government should focus on removal of inefficiencies in the export sector and improve ease of doing business in order to attract more foreign investment and revive exports.
Atif Ikram Sheikh said that our current export portfolio was marred by a lack of diversification and the country was depending mainly on textiles and some other products for exports. He said textiles exports has now only 4.1 percent share in world trade whereas the engineering sector constituted 34 percent share in international trade, but share of Pakistan’s exports of engineering goods was quite nominal.
He said there was an urgent need of bringing major structural reforms in the exports sector and focusing on diversification as the existing composition of exportable items lacked force to bring significant improvement in exports
He said another problem with export sector was that our exports were dominated by primary and intermediate goods rather than value-added finished products as 74 percent of food items and 40 percent exports of textiles were primary commodities.
He urged that government should develop a long-term exports strategy by focusing on major structural reforms, enhancing share of high tech and innovative products in exports, improving quality, creating value through designing and branding and market diversification by paying more attention towards unexplored markets of Central Asia, South America and Africa.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950