ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called upon the government to take concrete measures for improving trade balance with China as Pakistan was facing huge trade deficit of over $10 billion with China and the only best way to reduce it was to promote exports to China.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan today faced very high trade deficit of over $ 37 billion and one way to get out of this large trade deficit was to find ways of expanding and diversifying exports. He said Pakistan was renegotiating Free Trade Agreement with China and stressed the government should ensure that revised FTA would improve Pakistan’s trade balance with China. He said that China was the second largest importer in the world after USA as its imports in 2017 amounted to $ 1.7 trillion. The huge market of China offered great prospects to Pakistan for improving its exports. He said China mostly imported raw commodities from Latin America and Africa while it was the world’s largest importer of aluminum and copper. He said that Pakistan was a major exporter of raw material and with serious efforts, it could make significant increase in its exports to China that would fetch billions of dollars to the country.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Pakistan was mostly exporting rice and cotton to China while it has the potential to export many other products to this big market including textiles, agricultural products, sports goods, surgical equipment, leather goods and many others. They said that revised FTA should be finalized in a way that it should give boost to Pakistan’s exports to China. They said that instead of seeking loans on soft terms and financial aid from friendly countries, the government should give more focus to improving trade and exports with these countries that would bring more beneficial results to the economy.