Upon assuming office, Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce and Industries Gohar Ejaz made an ambitious commitment on August 19 to elevate national exports to over $100 billion. However, by August 27, he had tempered his goal, stating that his target was to achieve $80 billion in exports during his tenure as caretaker. Achieving this target may seem like an extraordinary feat given the challenging realities that lie ahead. This challenge is further compounded by the fact that the caretaker government’s primary responsibility is to oversee the upcoming general elections, scheduled for the end of January 2023. It’s essential to remember that Pakistan’s total exports have averaged approximately $30 billion annually over the past four years.
It is a legitimate concern whether the ambitious target set by the minister can be realistically achieved. A more prudent approach might be to prioritize the revival of industries. Overall, the large-scale manufacturing (LSM) sector has been experiencing a decline in recent times. The caretaker commerce minister should consider focusing on revitalizing this sector to pave the way for sustainable economic growth.