ICCI for diversifying markets and exports to bring economic stability

  • April 23, 2011
All major economic indicators of the economy are on the declining trend, this situation is creating more concerns in investors as well as in business community.

Government has to diversify its exportable products and explore non-traditional markets to enhance its exports and create a strong industrial base in the country which would results in economic stability, Mahfooz Elahi, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has stated in a statement.

He said that Pakistan has been depending on EU and the US for exports as these countries account for almost 40-45 percent of Pakistan’s total annual exports. Exploring non-traditional markets and introducing traditional and non-traditional export products of Pakistan in foreign markets is the utmost need of the hour, he added.

ICCI President stressed that apart from China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka with whom Pakistan has signed Free Trade Agreements, Pakistan should explore other regions like South America, Africa and Asia to explore untapped exports potential in these countries. He urged the exporters to explore new world trade and export markets in the large national interest for bringing boom in country's economy and industrial development. He said that efforts should be stepped up both at the government and private level to explore new markets.

Identifying some potential areas to enhance local exports, Mahfooz Elahi said that our marble industry, telecom & IT industry, fruits, vegetable & furniture sectors offer tremendous potential of enhancing exports. Close collaboration among trade associations, chambers and stakeholders could produce better results for the economy by making well targeted and goal-oriented efforts to explore traditional and non-traditional foreign markets, he maintained.

He said that Pakistan has narrow export base, consisting hardly of 1,250 products as against the trading of over 5,000 products in the international market. ICCI President said that Pakistan should also diversify its exports to Middle East and add new products to its export basket as they could constitute a big chunk of export earnings.

Elahi said that there were no proper market surveys on the products and markets in Pakistan, highlighting that there are many products and concessions if the market is properly assessed. Pakistan has an abundance of land and natural resources, workforce, strong entrepreneurship and a large domestic market, it is very important that government should facilitate exporters to explore non-traditional items and diversify the markets, he added.