Bench­marks for ex­port growth

Enterprise - - EDITOR’S DESK -

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the TDAP, Tariq Puri has in­di­cated that Pak­istan’s ex­ports in 2010-11 are likely to cross the US$ 22 bil­lion mark. Trends also in­di­cate that ex­ports may even cross US$ 24 bil­lion by the end of this fis­cal year. One rea­son cited for this en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mance is the fact that the coun­try’s crop ex­ports may surge this year as a re­sult of acute cuts in agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion across the globe. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, other rea­sons for the cur­rent and an­tic­i­pated ex­port boom, be­sides ris­ing global com­mod­ity prices, are the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to pri­or­i­tize power sup­ply to in­dus­try and cur­rency de­val­u­a­tion which has made Pak­istani prod­ucts more com­pet­i­tive. Com­pared with the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod last year, the Trade De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity of Pak­istan says that tex­tile ex­ports such as silk have risen by 25.8 per cent while agri­cul­tural pro­duce, in­clud­ing bas­mati rice, was up by 6.2 per cent be­tween July 2010 and Fe­bru­ary 7, 2011.

The tex­tiles sec­tor, which is one of the key driv­ers of the econ­omy, ac­counts for 55 per cent of the coun­try’s en­tire ex­ports and em­ploys 38 per cent of the na­tional work­force. The sit­u­a­tion in this sec­tor has changed dra­mat­i­cally and tex­tile ex­ports are ex­pected to rise by 10 per cent in fis­cal year 20102011. With the ris­ing de­mand for Pak­istani prod­ucts in the global mar­ket, in­dus­tries are also em­ploy­ing more work­ers. While the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank has fore­cast GDP growth of 2.5 per cent for fis­cal year 2011 in light of the mas­sive losses caused by the 2010 floods, it has pre­dicted a rel­a­tively mod­est re­bound of 3.7 per cent GDP growth for fis­cal 2012.

The Trade De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity of Pak­istan as the suc­ces­sor or­ga­ni­za­tion to the Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Bu­reau (EPB) is cog­nizant of the se­ries of prob­lems that Pak­istan’s ex­port prospects are still faced with de­spite an im­prov­ing ex­port per­for­mance. Among these are the fis­cal deficit which is much higher than the tar­get of 5.3 per cent be­cause of the gov­ern­ment’s heavy bor­row­ing from the cen­tral bank, the un­cer­tain se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion which is driv­ing for­eign and lo­cal in­vestors away and an acute en­ergy cri­sis that re­stricts pro­duc­tion to a large ex­tent. De­spite all these set­backs, the TDAP is still highly op­ti­mistic and is mak­ing in­tense ef­forts to cre­ate di­rect link­ages with lo­cal and for­eign stake­hold­ers and aims to achieve a ‘Quan­tum Leap’ in this re­spect.

The coun­try’s ef­forts to­wards trade pro­mo­tion are based on the Trade Pol­icy an­nounced for 2009-2010, which has set many vi­brant bench­marks. These in­clude pro­vid­ing greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for gain­ful em­ploy­ment, set­ting up a sound macroe­co­nomic frame­work for trade, in­vest­ment in im­proved hu­man re­sources, pro­mot­ing the pri­vate sec­tor as an en­gine of growth and fo­cus­ing on the small scale sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly in agri­cul­ture. In this back­drop, the over­all dy­nam­ics of the coun­try’s ex­port econ­omy can cer­tainly ben­e­fit with use­ful guid­ance and fa­cil­i­ta­tion from the TDAP, pro­vided ju­di­cious use is made of the road map laid down by the trade pol­icy

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