ISLAMABAD: The Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood on Saturday said that the present government’s aim was not only to facilitate the core export sectors but also support the emerging sectors after the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic Corona virus. The trade diversification, economies of scales, competitiveness, technology up-gradation, tariff rationalization and encouraging domestic and international investment was the focus of this government and the industry would see major policy initiatives in the upcoming budget, the adviser said. He said the COVID-19 has brought a change in the world and has badly affected the economy, said in press release issued by Ministry of Commerce here. The Advisor to PM, Abdul Razak Dawood said this while chairing a meeting of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC)’s “Think Tank on COVID-19”. He underscored that the situation was also an opportunity to reshape the business models. Mr. Razak Dawood added that there was a need to be innovative, both domestically and internationally, to explore the opportunities. “This is imperative to not only sustain our share in traditional markets and products but also to explore new avenues especially in services sectors”, stated Razak Dawood. The industry representatives acknowledged the steps taken by the government in the last one and half year which had started paying the dividends before the disruption created by the COVID-19 crisis. They proposed that the facilitation measures for decreasing the cost of doing business should be accompanied with steps to address the liquidity issues of the industry, especially the export sector. The industry representatives appreciated the briefing given by Mr. Dawood on steps taken by the government to encourage local production and said that this would not only arrest deindustrialization but also bring new investments especially from the local players.The businessmen shared innovative ideas to encourage domestic manufacturing. They also highlighted various tariff anomalies in different sectors. The credit availability schemes to further facilitate the export sectors and the non-traditional sectors were also discussed. The industry representatives recognized the central role played by Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood in formulation of Pakistan’s first-ever Mobile Phone Manufacturing Policy and requested that similar measures may be taken for other sectors as well. Appreciating the ideas put forth by the members of the Think Tank, the Advisor to Prime Minister said that Pakistan needs innovative approaches for rapid growth by increasing our share in international as well as domestic markets. The industry representatives vowed to come up more proposals within a week after consulting stakeholders in different sectors. The MOC’s Think Tank on COVD-19 meets to explore strategies to mitigate the effects on export in post COVID-19 situation. The Think Tank comprises Secretary Commerce, Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Additional Secretary (Trade Diplomacy), Director General (Textiles) and leading industrialists from various sectors. The objective of the Think Tank was to explore out-of-box ideas and formulate strategy to reduce the adverse effects of the evolving COVID-19 situation on Pakistan’s exports. The participants joined the meeting through video-link, following the SOPs on social distancing.
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