Trade with Afghanistan continues as usual: adviser

Web DeskWeb Editor

28th Aug, 2021. 07:25 pm

LAHORE: The trade with Afghanistan continued as usual even after the Taliban takeover, a senior government official said on Saturday.

Talking to the newsmen after inaugurating Pakistan Footwear Design Hub, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said: “We are closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan. Though there are some issues but these have not affected Pak-Afghan trade.”

“Trucks are going there via Torkham and other border crossings,” he said.

The Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFMA) set up the hub with the collaboration of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. “At present, we need to focus on Western borders. Will see the eastern borders later,” Dawood said.

To a question, the adviser said the GSP Status has been given to Pakistan for two years, adding that the government was making efforts for another two years extension.

He claimed the government’s well-structured policies have made Pakistan an exporter of mobile phones. “In July this year, Pakistan exported 5,000 to 10,000 mobile phones to various countries for the first time. We have almost ended the old culture of importing everything,” he said.

Dawood said that Pakistan was not the only country where the prices of commodities were showing an upward trend. Besides commodities, the cost/tariff of freight containers, shipping have risen to a maximum for the first time in the world.

To a question about increase in the exchange rates even after getting $3 billion from the IMF and $2 billion as foreign remittances, he said, adding that the country would be comfortable if the dollar rate ranges between Rs160 and Rs165 or below.

Earlier, talking about the shoe industry, the adviser said the country’s footwear exports remained low in the past due to various issues, including non-preparation of worldwide accepted designs.

“I am really very impressed and happy to see that we have finally set up the footwear design hub in Lahore. This will really help us in capturing the global market,” he said, adding that the shoe import was going down due to an increase in the local production.

Pakistan’s first shoe design hub supports developing brands, individual entrepreneurs and freelance designers in terms of latest technology, marketing and business planning to enhance their reach to the international market.

“We acknowledge the contributions of Unido and the Punjab Small Industries Corporation and the federal and provincial governments for making it a big success,” PFMA chairman Imran Malik said, while speaking on the occasion.

He thanked Dawood for supporting the footwear industry by offering tax relief.

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