October 30, 2018 (MLN): In a letter written to Abdul Razzak Dawood, advisor to the Prime Minister, Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has proposed that, Prime Minister Imran Khan should recommend preferential duties on Pakistani products exported to China. If approved, this could harness nearly $3.8 billion additional exports per annum.
The Government of China has also granted favorable tariff regime for Bangladesh and ASEAN.
Out of hundreds of products handled by Pakistan, China, ASEAN and Bangladesh, Pakistan Business Council randomly picked 25 products which include milled rice – polished and glazed, fish, trousers for men and women, yarns of different thickness, shirts, t-shirts, leather jackets, cotton yarn etc.
The Council then explained that these 25 products which are imported by China, constitute to around $9.761 billion per annum, while Pakistan’s share in it has been around $800 million. Moreover, the country’s exporters have to pay duty on these products ranging from 3.5%to 65%.
On the other hand, out of these 25 products, ASEAN exporters receive favorable regime on 18 items, for which they do not pay any duty. Meanwhile, China has given Bangladesh the status of Least Developed Country due to which about 16 products are exported to China without any duty payment.
According to PBC, the government should table these proposals in Prime Minister’s upcoming visits to China, and recommend preferential trade agreement which would help enhance the trade to around $3.7 billion from present level of $800 million.
According to an analyst, instead of asking for hefty loans from brotherly countries, especially China, the government should gain more access to their markets which would have a deep impact on the country’s economy.
Additional $4 billion worth of exports will help boost large manufacturing sector, shrink trade deficit and generate employment.
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