ICCI President terms new trade policy as positive

  • July 30, 2009
Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has termed new Trade Policy 2009-12 as positive because it provided businessmen a consistent policy framework for three years along with envisaging relief measures for many sectors of the economy by overcoming supply-side constraints & creating different funds to support industries. The zero-rating of all kinds of exports was a good incentive for manufactures-cum-exporters to improve their profitability, he added.

He said that though incentives have been provided to light engineering industry in trade policy, but government has not identified the specific sectors of light engineering that would benefit from these incentives and asked the government to remove this vagueness.

He said government should have announced textile policy immediately after trade policy as delay in announcing textile & monetary policies means that textile sector will lose first quarter of current financial year to improve exports, which would be a great loss to the economy.

Mian Shaukat said USA and EU have provided duty free access to Bangladesh for textile products which badly affected exports of Pakistani textiles and to avoid further business losses, many Pakistani textile sector businessmen were considering moving their businesses to Bangladesh. He urged the government to immediately take up this matter with Western and European countries to provide same incentives to Pakistan to save our textile industry from further damage.

He said Trade Policy seemed to have focused too much on exports while in the current situation of global economic meltdown triggering significant downfall in exports, promotion of domestic market & trade should have been given proper attention.

Mian Shaukat said that a long-time demand of the textile sector for incentives on international business travels had again been set aside in the policy despite the fact that the developed countries had issued travel advisories on traveling to their citizens to Pakistan compelling the local exporters to meet their foreign buyers abroad, which increased their international business expenses.

However, he lauded the subsidies announced for fisheries, leather and such sectors & subsidy in inland freight charges, saying that the government was also needed to implement the policy immediately to start achieving its desired goals.