Commerce secretary hails PRGMEA role in exports promotion

Lahore, March 30, 2018 (PPI-OT): Federal Secretary of Commerce Younus Dagha has said that high cost of doing business and issues of market access and exchange rate are hindering the Pakistan exports growth but the government has been working to resolve these problems. He said that the local currency has already been devalued by around 10 percent to maintain the exchange rate so that export should be enhanced. He was addressing the launching ceremony of International Apparel Federation (IAF) membership in Pakistan held here at PRGMEA regional office on Friday.

The commerce secretary stated that the government has been working on the five-year Strategic Trade Framework, according which branding, gender equality and promotion of SMEs to achieve exports target. He said the extension given by the European Union over GSP+ has helped increase exports of value-added textile goods by up to 90 percent, leading to exports growth by 13 percent during July-Feb.

Younus Dagha said that the PM package in the shape of Duty Drawback on Taxes (DDT) for the exporters has also helped growth of textile exports. The secretary appreciated the role of PRGMEA, saying the government has identified textile as a key priority area and is striving to set the right policies and incentives that encourages private sector investment in value addition. He assured the members of PRGMEA of resolving all issues at the earliest.

PRGMEA senior vice chairman Sheikh Luqman Amin, while presenting his welcome address to the commerce secretary, appreciated the extension of the GSP+ Scheme for another two years. “We have succeeded in reaching this landmark simply due to the serious efforts of Ministry of Commerce and Textile and Mr. Mohammad Younus Dagha, Federal Secretary for Commerce.

He said that the renewal of GSP+ status is a golden opportunity which our exporters could exploit. On this occasion, he recommended that export emergency should be declared in the country to control the decline in the export sector. Regarding extreme cash flow crunch Sheikh Luqman observed that the government has given assurance to clear all pending claims, but the factual position is that more and more refund claims are piling up. The government should announce a clear policy to finally clear all the pending refund claims, he demanded.

Sheikh Luqman said that exporters were assured of simple procedure and paperless working. He said that State Bank should not do any discrimination in the small cities in disbursement of the funds. He also called for ease of business, as more than 20 different departments are becoming hurdle in the way of exports instead of facilitating the exporters.

Pakistan’s core issue is the cost of doing business which has slid down to a level where our industry is no longer competitive. PRGMEA senior vice chairman requested that import of fabric should be allowed under the simple and easy procedure instead of DTRE, which is very complicated as only 2% exporter can avail importation under DTRE facility.

He said that unprecedented surge in cotton yarn rates has hit the export-oriented value added textile sector adversely. PRGMEA appeals for duty-free yarn import to encourage value addition and reduce cost of doing business. On this occasion, the IAF regional president Ijaz Khokhar stressed the need for enhancing the product lines of our exports and for that purpose some incentives should also be announced by the government for the motivation of our exporters, he added.

“Currently the garment sector has a limited product line for export market due to non-availability of the latest fabric locally. Foreign buyers demanding new garments based on G3, G4 and Technical fabric material. We need to offer more diversified products to take benefit from the GSP Plus.” Ijaz Khokhar said that we direly need to establish an ‘Aggressive Marketing Plan’ for garment export to gain the maximum benefits of GSP status.

“We have not made any marketing plan before and after granting of the GSP facility. We have no clear road map to increase our share under GSP facility available.” The IAF regional president said that regional task force need to be established to determine issues being confronted by the industry and then to suggest measures to ensure its viability and competitiveness in the international market.

He said that Trade Offices Abroad can play an important role to promote business abroad. Commercial officers posted abroad should be made more responsive to the needs of businesses. Our commercial officers’ performance should be monitored on the basis of exploring the business opportunities. Ijaz Khokhar suggested that all EDF collected from garment sector or from others sectors should be spent sector wise on export development.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA)
3rd Floor, Plot No. 57-C, 24th Commercial Street,
Phase II (Ext), DHA, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35890651-2
Fax: +92-21-35890653