Karachi : The Research and Policy Division of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has prepared a report on the Economic and Trade Relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The report indicates that Saudi Arabia is an important country for Pakistan and both countries enjoying geographical proximity, historical relations and religious affinity. Bilateral trade between both nations is below potential and stands at US$ 3.5 billion.
Pakistan mainly imports petroleum products, plastic goods, organic chemical and fertilizer from Saudi Arabia and exports cereals, meat, textile, beverages, edible fruit and vegetable to Saudi Arabia, the report stated.The report further reveals that there are huge potential available for enhancement of bilateral trade and investment relations.
The enhancement of bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia is also the priority for the Government which reflects from the visits of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Prince’s visit to Pakistan and signing of various MoUs for enhancement of relations in trade, energy, commerce, investment and other fields.
The report indicates that Pakistan has potentials to enhance its exports to Saudi Arabia in textile, pharmaceutical, rice, sea food, meat, edible fruits and vegetable, dairy products, leather goods and information technology.The report also identifies trade barriers that create hindrance in exports to Saudi Arabia related to compliance of standards, lack of information, lack of commercial activities etc between both nations.
The report suggests that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia should formulate a strategy for mutual recognition of standards for exports of surgical instrument, food items and pharmaceutical goods as there is a huge demand of these products in Saudi Arabia.
Both the nations should formulate a mechanism to reduce non-tariff measures which are faced by Pakistan in exporting agriculture products to Saudi Arabia. The report added that Pakistan may negotiate to initiate formal trade pack or agreement in terms of tariff concession for enhancement of trade.
The report suggests that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia should sign bilateral investment treaty in view of removal of complex investment procedures and avoid of taxation complicationsIt has suggested activation of Joint Business Council of both countries and holding of business people to people contact, formulation of trade delegations and participation in trade fairs.
The Trade Mission of both nations should also play their due role in enhancement of bilateral trade.
The report also suggests signing of an agreement with Saudi Arabia related to exchange of skilled workers and promotion of tourism as the process of economic development in Saudi Arabia is going on which indicates an increasing demand of skilled labor force in Saudi Arabia.Ends/OnlindeRT/TR============ICCI calls for removal of anomalies in Budget 2019-20Islamabad, June 20(Online): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that Budget 2019-20 carried many anomalies related to steel sector that could be disastrous for steel industry and called upon the government to take urgent measures to remove such anomalies before passage of Finance Bill 2019-20 from the parliament in order to save the steel industry from further problems.President, ICCI , Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that wrong PCT Code of raw material was included in the 1st schedule of Customs Act as one of the three Primary raw materials for steel making, HMS Scrap under PCT Code 7204.4990 was left out of the 1st Schedule whereas the other two primary raw materials (PCT Code 7204.4100 and 7204.3000) were rightly included in the 1st Schedule.
They said that this anomaly was needed to be fixed so that all primary raw materials for steel manufacturing could attract zero rate of CD, ACD and RD.He said that it seemed that wrong PCT Code 7204.4910 (Re-RollableScrap) was mistakenly included in the 1st Schedule and emphasized that this PCT Code was required to be removed from the 1st Schedule because it was an intermediate good.
He said the highlighted anomaly could be disastrous for the local melting industry if an intermediate good attracted the same duties as the primary raw material. He said that double taxation (ST) on raw material and finished goods as on June 30, 2019also required to be removed since finished goods stock as on June 30, 2019 will have already accrued sales tax via electrical consumption as per Sales Tax Special Procedures.
He said the sale of such goods under FED regime should not attract further FED as it will be double taxation.ICCI President said that as per Sales Tax Special Procedures, companies will have valid adjustment certificates for advanced sales tax paid at port on import of scrap.
He said such adjustment certificates should be utilized as inputs to adjust the FED liability from July 1st, 2019 onwards. He further said that a price notification mechanism for FED liability for steel billets, bars, and angles should be developed to ensure uniformity of collection across the sector.
He stressed that government should develop a consensus formula for price mechanism in consultation with steel sector industrialists.