President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said that economic outlook of the country has improved significantly given to investment and industry friendly policies of PTI led government. In comparison to the last fiscal year current account deficit and trade deficit have been reduced by $ 2 billion and $ 1 billion respectively in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. Remittances of around $ 13 billion have so far received in this period which showed growth of 12 percent. Exports could increase by mere 2 percent while imports have declined by 5 percent despite rise of 1.75 percent in interest rate. Given to reduction in government development expenditure and completion of some CPEC projects, imports on non energy sector has reduced by 19 percent but increased energy sector imports have leveled the difference.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that LSM growth is just 1.7 percent in the current fiscal year while it was 9.9 percent in the previous year. Lifting ban on vehicles of up to 1300 CC for non filers will improve LSM growth rate.
The Former Minister said that reduction in utilities tariff, duties on import of raw materials and issuance of promissory bond to clear refunds of exporters will help in promoting the export sector of the Country. Growth of livestock sector is vital for overall growth of agriculture sector. Reduction of Rs. 200 per beg of fertilizer will improve agricultural productivity.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that economic packages from friendly countries like KSA, UAE and China have reduced burden on foreign exchange reserves and help in curbing economic uncertainty in the Country, however, foreign direct investment in the current fiscal year is around $1.45 billion which 19 percent less than that of previous year. The planned investment of friendly countries like KSA, UAE, China, Malaysia and Turkey will improve employment, living standard, exports and per capita income and will help growing various sectors of economy including renewable energy, hospitality, tourism, etc. Overseas Pakistanis will invest more through Pakistan Banao Cerificate and $1 billion investment is expected till June 2019 via this scheme. Foreign reserves are still under pressure to strengthen the Country’s economy, it is vital to take further practical measures in consultation with business community.
Balance of bilateral trade will improve after Indonesia grants access to 20 items: Mian Zahid Hussain
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that Indonesia has officially offered access to twenty export products in order to make the balance of trade in favor of Pakistan. Those items include mangoes, broken rice, tobacco, apparel, knitwear and other textile products. This facility will help Pakistan to improve its exports to Indonesia. The balance of bilateral trade was negative for Pakistan despite having preferential trade agreement between both countries. Several amendments have been made to FTA in order to make it more favorable for Pakistan due to efforts of ministry of commerce and secretary commerce Younus Dagha who met with Indonesian minister of commerce and stressed on removal of non tariff barriers for Pakistani products to enter Indonesian markets.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that the continues efforts of Pakistan get successful and direct access have been granted to 20 export items of Pakistan’s choice effective from March 1, 2019, which will tilt the balance of bilateral trade in country’s favor. The FTA between Pakistan and Indonesia came into existence in 2012 but it adversely affected the Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia. Pakistan’s exports were declined to $ 141 million in 2016 which were $ 236 million in 2011; however it jumped to $ 296 million in 2017.
The Former Minister said that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia stood at $ 1.6 billion at the time of signing FTA which has increased by $ 1.2 billion in 2017 to $ 2.8 billion given to huge rise in Indonesian exports to Pakistan from $ 1.5 billion in 2013 to $ 2.5 billion in 2017.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan has exported 200000 MT of wheat and white rice respectively to Indonesia in the previous year, however special permission of exporting mangoes in the coming season has been granted to Pakistan, which will help in boosting country’s exports and will tilt the balance of trade in Pakistan’s favor.
Mian Zahid Hussain Said that Pak – Turkey trade agreement is still pending for which government’s consideration is required. In addition, all trade agreements with different countries need to be reviewed in order to make them more beneficial and supportive for strengthening Pakistan’s exports. New international markets need to be looked for in order to boost exports and export sector products should be diversified and customized in accordance to international demand for which research and development centers need to establish across country, so that Pakistani products may be sold on better prices in international markets.
Implementation of Trade preferential agreement is vital for strong trade ties between Islamic countries: Mian Zahid Hussain
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi did not participate in the 46th foreign ministers’ conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as invitation of participation has extended to the Indian foreign minister and did not reverted despite opposition of Pakistan, however, Pakistan was presented by the diplomatic staff. OIC should ensure prior consultation with member countries before inviting any non member delegate or guest to the meetings of OIC, so that dispute between the brotherly Islamic countries can be avoided.
The Veteran Business Leader while talking to the business community said that OIC has seconded the Pakistan’s standing on the Kashmir dispute and passed a resolution to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance to the United Nation’s charters. Resolution of Kashmir dispute is not only necessary to strengthen relations of neighboring countries India and Pakistan but is also vital for sustained peace in the region. The OIC resolution also praised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision of releasing Indian pilot and offer of dialogue between both neighboring countries. Pakistan has been nominated as permanent member of human rights commission of OIC in the Asia, which is realization of Pakistan’s efforts towards the cause.
The former minister said that OIC role in promoting economic and trade ties between the member countries is very limited which needs to be enhanced. State heads of Islamic countries and leaders of this effective forum should take concrete and practical measures to this effect.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that OIC countries export to world has declined by 17 percent while intra member states exports have been reduced by 8 percent in 2016 as compared to 2010. Global imports have been reduced by 6 percent while global trade is declined by 30 percent. Pakistan’s global trade has declined by $ 27 billion in 2017 while intra-Islamic countries trade of Kazakhstan has increased by $ 5 billion.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that improved role of OIC for trade and economic activities between the member countries are vital. OIC should take its efforts to next level for improved trade between the member countries and the trade preferential system of the OIC should be implemented on early basis to bring grace and strong financial position to the Muslim world.