ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has so far exported 150,000 tons of sugar to China while the export of 200,000 tons of rice would be completed by June-end under the Chinese duty-free incentive package of $1 billion, a PM adviser said on Tuesday.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, and Industry Razak Dawood told the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile that China extended a duty-free package for export of rice, sugar, and 350,000 tons of cotton yarn to Pakistan.
Chairman of the committee Muhammad Afridi said local textile industry would be affected with exports of such a high amount of yarn as the price of the product would go high in the local market.
Dawood said Pakistan produced huge quantity of cotton yarn and therefore there would not be any shortage. Textile sector related industries are now giving good results as even the closed factories started production. Hopefully, the textile sector export would go up in the coming days.
The PM adviser said Prime Minister Imran Khan would sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with China on April 28 during a visit under which Pakistan is going to get the duty free market share equivalent to the share already enjoyed by the member countries of Association of Southeast Asian Nations from China. “Though it took a long time to finalise the second phase of FTA, I would like to appreciate the Chinese government’s support in this regard.”
Senator Nauman Wazir said the government should get assurance from the Chinese side that it would not impose non-tariff barriers on imports from Pakistan.
Dawood said all such matters have already been discussed with China and he would further talk to Chinese authorities to get such assurance.
Senator Shibli Faraz said the textile sector has become habitual to unnecessary subsidies.
The productivity, efficiency, and quality of the textile is not up to the mark despite getting huge subsidies and the average monthly textile export has never exceeded $1.2 billion for the last 20 years.
The PM adviser admitted that textile sector needed assistance around 15-20 years ago, but now there is no need to offer any subsidy to the sector. He, however, said the garments industry needs support owing to high prices of the land.
The government is mulling over extending long-term financing to the garment manufacturers to purchase land and buildings to establish their industries.
Dawood said the government was engaged with Japan for purchase of modern textile machinery.
He hoped that an agreement would be finalised in six months.
Wazir advised that the government should conduct value chain analysis to find out reasons of decreasing trend of textile exports. The senator said the commercial councilors should also be taken to the task and asked to give feedback from their respective countries to find out the potential markets in various parts of the world. “If we want to boost our exports beyond $50 billion level, we must have to look areas other than textile,” he added.
“The engineering sector having a market share of over $4 trillion across the globe can help the country in increasing its exports to the desired level.”
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