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December 8, 2019

Finance adviser says exports boost vital to spur growth


December 8, 2019

KARACHI: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shaikh on Saturday emphasised policy measures to enhance value-added exports, which he said are essential to spur growth.

“Increase in exports is must for the country’s economic growth,” Shaikh said. “Increase in export guarantees the economic growth… in order to achieve desired results the country has to take many initiatives.”

The adviser was addressing the annual convocation of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA).

Shaikh said growth in exports has been statistic for the past several years.

A recent international report estimated an average 1.6 percent drop in exports from Pakistan over the five years, which it said kept growth potential untapped. Lack of export diversification and concentration of a few export destinations were termed as reasons behind dull performance of export sector.

Finance adviser said there are several sectors of the economy, which have immense growth potential.

“What we need is value-addition to make exportable goods presentable in international markets,” he said. “Pakistan is blessed with numerous resources… there is need to tap the potential.”

The country’s growth decelerated to 3.3 percent in the last fiscal year from the previous fiscal year’s 5.5 percent. There is a consensus among local and foreign institutions that growth would further tapper off in the current fiscal year as the present administration adopted structural changes to introduce economic stabilisation.

The International Monetary Fund projected growth to slow down at 2.4 percent in FY2020. However, the State Bank of Pakistan expected it at 4 percent in the current fiscal year.

Export sector showed a sign of little improvement in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, but annual exports are expected to remain more or less at the last year’s level.

Shaikh believes that the country has potential to register substantial growth. He called for “focus on strength”.

“In order to achieve success there should be a target,” he said. “But, in the way of success nothing is final and the journey to success requires hard work.”

In the past, authorities have been advised of parsimonious industrial policy that is to build up economic activities in which the economy has competitive and comparative advantages.

On IBA, the adviser said the institute is 64 years old and has produced a score of professionals who are now leading corporate world locally and internationally.

On the occasion, Sindh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Khuhro said IBA is high ranking educational institution. He congratulated graduates and hoped they would contribute towards prosperity of the country.