ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will undertake fresh trade initiatives with its regional and international trading partners to promote trade and boost economic growth in the country.
“It is high time for Pakistan to give primacy to trade and investment in its interaction with the world and focus on trade and investment reforms”, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Commerce said in a meeting with officers of Ministry of Commerce, academics and experts, held to discuss the strategies for doubling Pakistani exports in the next few years.
The Minister said that in the modern economic history no country has shown meaningful economic growth without trade liberalization and shifting focus from domestic trade to international trade.
He referred to countries like China and India which have been able to sustain astonishingly high economic growth rates for years by specifically focusing on international trade which ignited a chain reaction of production in their domestic markets.
Bangladesh, Vietnam and several East Asian countries are more recent examples which reaped the dividends of similar reforms, he added.
The Minister was of the view that in trade liberalization impediments are seen instantly but benefits lies in future which not everyone can comprehend.
The Minister emphasized the importance of presence of two giant economies right at the borders of Pakistan and urged the participants to formulate strategy to extract maximum benefits from the trade opportunities that these countries present.
The Ministry of Commerce shall stay focused to accomplish the Prime Minister’s vision to increase trade, enhance investment and strengthen connectivity across the region through road, train, banking and mobile network.
The Minister said that the Government has reduced tariff slabs from seven to six in the current budget to promote trade and will further reduce it to four till 2017.
The Government is bringing consistency in its policies to attract foreign direct investment which results, among other benefits, in enhancing the exports through high value addition.