Pak share in global market down 33pc
The Federal Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani approved Monday the Trade Policy 2009-12, projecting the country's export target to US$19 billion while maintaining the imports at $28 billion for 2009-10.
Presenting a 3-year Trade Policy 2009-12 Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim on the state-run media said that during the three-year period Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) and exports growth would be projected by 6 per cent in 2009-10, 10 per cent in 2010-11 and 13 per cent in 2011-12.
Makhdoom said taking a long-term view of Pakistan's export performance over the last ten years, Pakistan's share in the global market, according to WTO data, had declined by more than one third to 0.13 per cent in 2009 from 0.21 per cent in 1999.
The trade minister further stated that due to energy crises, poor law and order situation, unprecedented economic downturn especially in major markets like the US and European Union, Pakistani exports declined to $17.8 billion in 2008-09 as compared with $19.1 billion in 2007-08. Imports also witnessed a decline of 13 per cent and stood at $34.9 billion during the last fiscal year against $40.9 billion in 2007-08, he said.
Similarly, the textile exports also dropped from $10.6 million to $9.6 million in 2008-09. While the share of non-textile manufactured in total exports went down from $5.83 million in 2007-08 to $3.12 million in 2008-09. In order to address strategic objective of pursuing greater market access through extensive trade diplomacy, the government aims to engage with the larger trading partners like the US and the EU for greater market access and utilize the Reconstruction Oppor-tunity Zones (ROZs) for providing zero duty facility for exports to the US.
According to the policy it is expected that by 2012, the competitiveness ranking of Pakistan will improve from 101 to 75; the share of engineering exports would increase from 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent; value addition of cotton to increase from $1,000 to $1,500 per bale; and regional trade to expand from 17 per cent to 25 per cent. In the new trade policy it has been decided to create a Fund to hedge fund markup rate hikes and the Commerce Ministry would work with the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan towards that end.
Presently, the businesses need short to medium-term certainty in the interest rate for investment.