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Sustainability in export policies a must: PTEA

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From Our Staff Correspondent

Faisalabad: Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has hailed the upsurge in country’s exports of 15.28 per cent year-on-year to $ 21.34 billion in first eleven months of current fiscal. Although gradual improvements are taking place but huge trade deficit of $ 33.9 billion have created adverse implications for economy.
Sustainability in export policies is unavoidable to plug the widening trade deficit.
In a statement here on Tuesday, PTEA Chairman Mian Shaiq Jawed has lauded the upsurge in country’s exports terming it a reversal of the trend observed between July 2014 and April 2017 when the export growth had been consistently negative.
He claimed value-added textiles as the main driver of growth in the country’s exports which has risen 8.13pc to $11.13 billion in July-April period of FY18.
In the first 11 months of current fiscal year FY18, total exports crossed $ 21 billion and if the trend continues, they would cross $23 billion, which will be the highest level since FY14.
However, he expressed grave concerns over country’s trade deficit which has swelled to $ 33.9b as trade imbalance has recorded 13.4 per cent increase in 11 months of current fiscal year.
Under this situation, managing external account has become a matter of concern as country’s foreign exchange reserves are eroding due to repayment against previous loans and financing current account deficit. In a bid to plug the widening trade deficit, increase in exports has become the need of the hour, he said.
Appreciating the initiatives taken to arrest the downfall in exports, he said that textile exports have taken the flight as a result of cash incentives under the PM export package; however, textile policies 2009-14 and 2014-19 are still to be implemented in true sense due to lack of financial support.
He stressed to bring sustainability in implementation of textile policies as increased external trade is the last hope to arrest the widening trade gap. Production of exportable surplus is the need of the hour and revival of $ 4 billion idle production capacity is really a big challenge, he said and added that only an enabling environment can attract prospective investors to undertake new investment initiatives by the textile industry.
He stressed for immediate payment of cash incentives under PM Export Package to further accelerate the growth in value added textile exports.
Vice Chairman PTEA Ammar Saeed has said that a vast range of trade opportunities has emerged for Pakistan in the region.
Terming value-addition as the key to success, he underline the need of focusing on capturing greater share in regional and international trade through value-addition.
Production of exportable surplus is the need of the hour and also a challenge through revival of idle capacity and materialising of $ 10 billion additional potential by converting fabric into value-added finished products.
Export sector being life line of national economy is a very sensitive sector and disruption in the tempo or bottleneck in export facilitation not only hurt the exports of the country but also have devastating impact on the industry causing productivity loss, job losses and industrial unrest.
To keep the industrial wheel running and providing job employment to maximum working hands in the country, it is imperative to facilitate the optimum industrial activity.
PTEA has stressed for fast track implementation of long term growth-led export policies in true spirit to get sustainable growth and shrink the huge trade deficit.

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