LCCI urges govt to facilitate exporters
LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday urged the government to facilitate exports to new markets to overcome widening trade deficit.
LCCI president Mian Tariq Misbah, senior vice president Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and vice president Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry have expressed concerns over 133 per cent increase in the trade deficit during the second month of the current fiscal year.
Trade deficit in July-August 2021 stood at $7.5 billion, compared with $3.4 billion during the corresponding period of the last year, showing an increase of 119 per cent.
In this period, the import bill stood at $12.06 billion, compared with $6.99 billion in the corresponding period of the last year. The exports in July-August 2021 stood at $4.57 billion, compared with $3.58 billion during the corresponding period of the last year.
The LCCI office-bearers urged the government to take concrete measures for enhancing exports and to overcome the trade deficit.
They said Pakistan’s most favourite export markets have been Europe, North America and the Gulf states, adding that the exporters need to look for new markets in Central Asia, Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Pakistan should sign free trade agreements with the Central Asian Republics and the countries in the Gulf.
Exports were also suffering due to skyrocketing input costs, they said, adding that the government would have to evolve a long-term strategy to make its products competitive in the global market.
The LCCI office-bearers said the growing trade deficit is posing a key challenge to the macroeconomic stability of the country, besides converting it into a consumer society.
They feared increasing trade deficit could dent the country’s debt payment capacity and demanded resolution of the major issues such as the delay in the release of refunds, high input cost and a large number of duties and taxes.
The embassies should also be given a task to explore new markets and new buyers for the Pakistani merchandise, they added.
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