ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razzaq Dawood said that the structural weaknesses of the export sector of Pakistan are high tariffs on the imported raw materials, high cost of doing business, low productivity, lack of market and product diversification.
He informed Senate Committee that exports of the country has increased during first quarter of the current financial year, registering growth of 4.56% from $5.16 billion to $5.36 billion.
Answering a question, he said it is fact that Pakistan lacks in product and market diversification as a result of which it accesses low-end markets and fetches low prices for its products.
He also informed that the traditional export products comprises more than 70% share of the total exports. In FY 2018, textile group exports share was recorded at 58.3%, whereas food group share is 20.7%. Pakistan’s export destinations are mainly five export countries or regions. In the FY 2018, the share of Pakistan’s exports to USA, China, Afghanistan and United Kingdom remained 16%, 8%, 7% and 6%, respectively. The share of European Union has been 27.3% in FY 2018 in total exports.
The reason for lower prices is lack of value addition, low diversification, uncompetitive production methods and inadequate of branding and certifications. He also informed that Pak-China FTA Phase II negotiations are in progress, wherein, preferable market access is being sought for Pakistan. He also informed that under Pak-Indonesia PTA, Indonesia has agreed to allow import of kinnows and mangoes from Pakistan.
They have further agreed to reduce duty to zero on two textile products included in existing PTA and are considering granting unilateral market access on 20 items of Pakistan’s export interest.