Pakistan: The business community of southern Punjab has asked the government to adopt a holistic approach to develop the agriculture and industrial sectors in order to boost exports to meet the cotton production target of 20 to 25 million bales.
Pakistan has an untapped export potential of $13 billion, as there are areas such as home textile products, apparels, leather products and cereals that promise to double exports within a year, said Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi.
He said there was a need to devise a comprehensive strategy to promote industry on a commercial basis. This will not only support the manufacturers but will also increase exports, Roomi added.
The MCCI chief believed that a good working environment was necessary to enhance the capacity of the workers and to enable them to compete internationally. He expressed hope that the new cabinet will pursue radical economic reforms through long-term stable administration.
The Ministry of Commerce should explore potential international markets to enhance exports. It should work to search new trade avenues and markets in different world regions.
The official demanded the government to offer special packages of power and gas tariffs for rapid industrial growth on the pattern of China. Due to high tariffs and taxation, cost of production is increasing and industries are unable to compete in global market thus badly hampering exports.
Roomi stressed on having an agricultural policy that increases the supply of raw materials to agro-based industries, both domestic and foreign, such that it can help domestic textile producers regain lost competitiveness in the world market.
He also urged diversifying the range of value-added traditional industrial goods, such as consumer textile and leather products, as well as of non-traditional industrial goods. The president suggested trying to reach Free Trade Agreements with Latin American.