Govt sets export target of $31.20 billion, services $7.5 billion

Hamza HabibOur Correspondent

03rd Aug, 2021. 10:25 am
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ISLAMABAD: The government has set an export target of $31.20 billion and services $7.5 billion, while the total exports will remain in the range of $38.70 billion to $40 billion.

In a joint press conference with spokesperson to the Prime Minister Shahbaz Gill, the Adviser on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that in 2020/21, the total exports of the country reached $25.30 billion, whereas the exports of services stood at $6 billion, which is an all-time high.

“The major factors contributing to the increase of exports were realistic exchange rate, streamlining of [the] sales tax refunds from [the] FBR [Federal Board of Revenue], competitive energy rates and tariff rationalisation,” he said,”.

Dawood said that last year the information technology sector remained the most impressive with 47 per cent growth and, for the first time, IT exports crossed the $2 billion-mark.

The textile sector again proved to be a major contributor in total exports, he said, adding that instead of exporting raw material of textile goods, the performance of the value-added sector was very encouraging.

During the last fiscal year, knitwear exports went up 37 per cent, home textiles 29 per cent and readymade garments increased 19 per cent, whereas the exports of yarn showed a nominal decline.

This year the exports of textile goods were projected in the range of $20 billion and $21 billion, the adviser said, adding that the share of raw materials increased substantially, whereas the import of consumption-based products decreased substantially.

To reduce reliance on textiles, the government is diversifying its exports basket, he said, adding that in motorcycle manufacturing, Pakistan achieved an economy of scale from where it can export motorcycles to other countries.

“Altas Honda received export orders of 10,000 motorcycles and Honda is planning to shift two to three motorcycle component manufacturing plants to Pakistan,” he said.

Dawood said that from next year Pakistan will start exporting mobile phones and the government had already received 21 applications for setting up mobile phones manufacturing plants.

He alleged that he was misquoted by the media on the Samsung issue. “Six months back, Samsung despite my insistence refused to set up an assembly plant of mobile phones but once other market players set up manufacturing plants, Samsung also decided to join the bandwagon and they’re setting up a plant in a joint venture with the Lucky Group.

Earlier, Shahbaz Gill said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to meet the exporters fortnightly to ensure that the increasing momentum in exports will not get disturbed and their problems will be addressed promptly.

He admitted the fact that cartels are still very strong in the country and the government is still unable to break their monopoly.

Regarding sugar prices, Gill said that in the international market sugar prices increased 56 per cent in just one year and that’s why the import of sweetener is no longer a solution. However, the spike in the sugar prices helped the farmers extract better prices for their crop from the sugar mill-owners, which is good for the economy.

The spokesperson for the prime minister said food inflation can only be controlled by reducing the demand-supply gap.

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