KARACHI – Federal Secretary for Commerce Muhammad Younas Dagha on Wednesday assured exporters that the government was working on various new initiatives for promoting exports that include extending maximum facilities and incentives to them. The Ministry of Commerce was also pursuing for the payment of refunds to exporters, he said.

Commerce Secretary was speaking at an interactive session with representatives of textile exporters associations here at Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) House here. Prominent exporters were Chairman, Council of Pakistan Textile Associations, Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum, Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Knitwear Association, Rafiq Godel and a leading exporter Junaid Makda. Muhammad Younas Dagha informed that Ministry of Commerce had planned to launch “Brand Pakistan” programme throughout the world before the mega event of “Expo Pakistan” scheduled to be held in Karachi in November 2017.

He urged the private sector to focus on research and development along with enhancing the production capacity of industrial workers. This would make the private sector competitive in the regional and international markets.

He maintained that high cost of doing business in the country was one of the reasons for low exports. “We are much behind in innovations and rate of value-addition is very low. Our workers are not educated and properly trained to give better production for cutting the per unit cost. High tariffs and duties cannot be held sole responsible for low exports,” the Secretary asserted. He acknowledged that textile industry had major share in the country’s exports and that more efforts were needed to strengthen this potential sector. He said 11 billion rupees combined effluent treatment plant, to be set up in Karachi, had been approved by Planning and Development Commission. To a query, he said, the government was considering to review its policy on wheat and sugar to ensure the balance in the food security of the country and the scale of exports. The exporters’ representatives briefed the secretary on the issues in trade, especially the exports. They assured their full support towards all positive government steps for promoting trade and industry in the country.