Published Date: Jul 10, 2020
Awareness on exports’ promotion facilities termed key to tap global opportunities
The awareness on various instruments that are available to facilitate exports’ promotion and compliance with the international standards could open the doors of new markets across the globe for the Pakistani small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
These views were expressed by experts on trade, investment and economy including from the public and private sectors said this while speaking to the participants at online consultative dialogue ‘Textile & garment industry outlook amid COVID-19’ organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Thursday.
Senior Economist at the World Bank, Gonzalo Varela, was of view that the productivity of Pakistani enterprises is low as compared to Bangladesh and India. Low investment is one of the key reasons behind this phenomenon and therefore, more capital needs to be diverted towards enhancing trade capabilities of private sector, he added.
“Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) can help export enterprises,” Varela said and added further that FDI helps firms to integrate in global value chains. Pakistan can incentivize firms to export through bringing down tariffs on imports, improving logistics, and promoting smart branding and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) can help with branding and promotion, he concluded.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, while moderating the discussion, highlighted the need to create awareness across SMEs regarding export promotion schemes by the government. He said that the SMEs will need help to understand and meet buyer requirements which have become stringent during Covid19 pandemic times and the Ministry of Commerce along with SMEDA could explain to the small firms how to comply with quality control measures, pre-shipment and border clearance requirements, anti-competitive measures and other conditions by buyers of Pakistani goods.
Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic, Dr Kamal Monnoo, was of view that Pakistani textile enterprises suffer when consumption declines in European Union and United States. In such a scenario, government’s top priority should be to support survival of exporters for at least the next 6 months.
Rahim Nasir, CEO at Ayesha Spinning Mills said: COVID-19 has led to reduction in global demand of textile and garments by at least 30%. He stressed that minimum turnover tax may be abolished and refunds of exporters may be processed at the earliest.
Former Advisor to Federal Board of Revenue, Tayyaba Batool, was of view that FBR is taking measures to simplify the process of accessing export promotion schemes.
Ghulam Qadir, Economist, National Tariff Commission, Government of Pakistan, while referring to China-Pakistan FTA, said that it’s now providing favorable opportunities.
He said that it may be appropriate that in future there could be sectoral working groups including for textile sector that could help Ministry of Commerce on the critical decisions.
Usama Nizamani, Senior Researcher, emphasized on expediting establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) that could address some of the infrastructure related gaps faced by exporters. He also explained how promotion of e-commerce and credible online payment systems could help Pakistani exporters.