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Diversification key to ramping up exports

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LAHORE:

Pakistan’s export diversification has improved significantly over the last three years, which is the only way to jack up exports, remarked Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.

Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday, Dawood revealed that Pakistan’s exports of traditional items to non-traditional markets had increased by 60% during the last three years.

Moreover, “exports of non-traditional items to unconventional markets have gone up by 77% during the same period.” The government was about to announce the Duty Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) policy in which extra incentives would be given on exports of non-traditional products, Dawood highlighted.

The government was also aiming to sign the Convention on International Transport of Goods with Afghanistan for free movement of trucks to the Central Asian states and other parts of the region, he added.

The adviser pointed out that the government was targeting Central Asia for boosting exports. Dawood revealed that the government was implementing the Look Africa Policy and an official delegation would visit Nigeria next month.

He announced that the Temporary Economic Refinance Facility (TERF) of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would be restored for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other targeted sectors.

Engineering, iron and steel sectors would be the next area of focus for tariff rationalisation, he said.

Responding to a question, the PM aide said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was a major hurdle in the reduction in sales tax rate. “The IMF demands the imposition of regulatory duty on everything,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2021.

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