September 26, 2018: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Investment Abdul Razaq Dawood on Wednesday said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has convinced Chinese government to bridge the wide gap in trade between Pakistan and China, which is in latter's favour.
He informed the value-adding textile sector representatives in a meeting at Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) Office that China genuinely wanted to bridge this trade gap and establish a good trade balance. As a step forward in this direction, a high profile Chinese buying delegation is scheduled to come to Pakistan on October 8, 2018 with many Pakistani products on their purchasing list.
He said that on November 4, Pakistan government's delegation, led by him, would visit Beijing to have meetings with Chinese Commerce Minister and other concerned authorities and talk on re-visiting of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and China, and on the implementation of ASIAN agreement besides taking up many other issues related to trade and investment.
“We have already discussed the issue of trade gap/ trade imbalance with the Chinese Foreign Minister during his recent visit to Islamabad and the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan,” he said adding that PTI government would seek concessional tariff on 330 items.
The big gap in Pak-China trade is a serious issue and PTI government was making its all possible efforts on this account.
PM's Advisor assured the business community that he would not negotiate anything with China about trade and investment without maximum possible consultation with the business community of the country through their representative trade bodies. For this purpose, he would soon hold a detailed meeting with the representatives of value-added textile sector to get their feedback before his planned visit to China on November 4, 2018.
He further said he would try to meet every stakeholder in private sector to talk mainly on strategic issues to boost industrialization, investment and exports of the country, especially textile exports.
“I see value-adding sector as the real player in Pakistan's exports. That is why, I started my series of interactive meetings from you people,” he remarked.
He urged them to give concrete proposals on trade, industry and investment in writing so that the government could better negotiate with China.
He said China had promised to provide special corridor for Pakistani exhibitors at Chinese Expo Centers to help promote Pakistan's trade.
He also informed that PTI Government was also working on another textile policy with minimum tax on the raw materials.
He said his Ministry would also take initiatives to control contamination of textile materials including cotton seed for providing competitive edge to Pakistan's textile industry in the region and in the international market.
He assured that in next annual budget the government would focus on long-term tariff rationalization. In the mini-budget announced this month, there was no option but to do some adjustments left by the past PML-N government, he said.
The PM's Advisor agreed to an exporter Aamir Butt that Pakistan government should stop Chinese businessmen from lifting the primary goods as it would harm Pakistan's value-adding sector.
Chief Coordinator of PHMA and Chairman of Pakistan Apparel Forum, Muhammad Jawed Bilwani gave the Advisor a detailed presentation on textile industry issues especially that of value-adding sector.
He complained of the high cost of manufacturing and short supply of utilities especially water for industrial use in SITE Area. Besides shortage and high price of water, its quality was also sub-standard that brings negative impact on textile manufacturing process including low quality products.
Abdul Razaq Dawood gave patient hearing and agreed to the most of Bilwani's proposals for the growth of textile industry and the exports.
Chairman, Council of All Pakistan Textile Assciations and a leading exporter, Muhammad Zubair Motiwala emphasized the need for providing incentives to the growers of different crops especially cotton for sustained growth in exports.
“Unless we succeed in making export surplus, Pakistan's exports would not witness significant increase,” he said.