ICCI shows concerns over 25 percent dip in exports

  • October 26, 2015
The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown great concerns over 25 percent fall in exports to European countries during the first eight months of 2015 as compared to a year ago and called upon the government to look into the causes of falling exports seriously as this has happened despite the grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the EU. 
Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that UK and Germany were major trading partners of Pakistan in EU, however, during January to August 2015, our exports have dipped by 26 percent to UK and 22.4 percent to Germany, which should be a cause of concerns for the policymakers. 
He said our exports were falling at a time when our regional competitors were increasing their share in the global export market. He said despite tall claims by the government to push up exports, our country has not done well in terms of exports performance, which was worrisome. 
He said Pakistan’s market share in global exports has stagnated at a negligible 0.14 percent for the last four decades which shows that successive governments have not taken required supportive measures to strengthen this important sector of the economy. He said between 2000 and 2015, Pakistan’s exports increased around two & a half times while during the same period, India’s exports have grown over seven-fold and China’s nine-fold. This dismal performance of our country demands that government should pay priority attention to export sector and take urgent remedial measures to turn around the situation. 
Atif Ikram Sheikh identified high cost of doing business due to hike in energy prices, high input costs, energy crisis, unprecedented level of taxation and lack of research & development and security challenges as the major factors that were impeding the growth of exports. He stressed that government should make serious efforts to address these key issues in order to improve the exports of the country. 
He said during the last fiscal year, the government had set the export target at $27 billion that was missed by a margin of $3.1 billion and apprehended that if the problems of exporters were not resolved on priority basis, the country could witness further fall in exports.