Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood discussed the Trade related apprehensions just few days after Adviser on Finance Hafeez Shaikh, in a news conference, celebrated decrease in the trade gap.
Mr. Dawood replied while answering to a question at a news conference on Tuesday that “I do not have the exact figures, but to some level there are a lot of raw materials imports declining and it will be slow down further in the coming months, that makes me a little bit confused.” He accepted that the decline in industrial raw materials aren’t the good indication.
On the auto-sector issue, he stated that production has reduced due to multiple factors. He further added that, customers aren’t taking the products due to higher prices, which he said could occur anywhere in the world. The adviser also showed support for the businesspersons’ meeting with the army chief, which he stated was done on the orders of the PM.
Contrarily, while talking about the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), he stated that it would be in working condition by Dec 1, 2019.
Moreover, he discussed that Chinese investment in the country’s export processing zones would profit Beijing mainly to expand its exports to the United States. He stated that China is concerned to establish export units in the Faisalabad’s special economic zone. He said that important steps have been taken to accomplish trade targets.
“I perceive that our exports are somewhat close to our targets”, he further added that the trade gap is enhancing as imports are being cut down and exports are going up, he declared.
On the concern of contrast in export figures of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the adviser mentioned that he has demanded relevant stakeholders to sort out the issue in a professional manner. The issue came into being due to the double-counting of the figures of export processing zones (EPZs), he declared. He mentioned that it has been acknowledged in principle to count the figure of EPZs but it cannot be double marking.