ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani ministry of industries and production on Thursday held the inaugural meeting of a new Industrial Advisory Council (IAC), set up to realize the country’s vision of $100 billion exports.
Pakistan’s exports for 2022 stood at $39.42 billion, a 24.94 percent increase from 2021. The Industrial Advisory Council — with CEOs from leading industrial groups in Pakistan and the secretaries of industries, commerce and finance as members — aims to work exclusively on increasing Pakistani exports.
Thursday’s meeting was chaired by the Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Dr. Gohar Ejaz, “bringing together the collective expertise and insights of the industry leaders to address critical issues and propose actionable strategies for the enhancement of the country’s industrial sector,” the ministry said in a statement.
“During the meeting, each private sector member of the Industrial Advisory Council presented their perspectives and expertise. The presentations shed light on the challenges faced by the industrial sector and provided valuable, practical suggestions for its improvement.”
“This gathering symbolized a collaborative effort to harness the vast potential of Pakistan’s industrial landscape and it aligns with the national objective of achieving $100 billion in exports,” the ministry added.
“The Ministry anticipates that the outcomes of this meeting will pave the way for innovative solutions, policy recommendations, and collaborative initiatives that will contribute significantly to the growth and sustainability of the industrial sector.”
The World Bank has said Pakistan needs to increase both private investments and exports to sustain strong economic growth. Key factors currently hindering exports include high effective import tariff rates, limited availability of long-term financing for firms to expand export capacity, inadequate provision of market intelligence services for exporters, and low productivity of Pakistani firms.
“The long-term decline in exports as a share of GDP has implications for the country’s foreign exchange, jobs, and productivity growth. Therefore, confronting core challenges that are necessary for Pakistan to compete in global markets is an imperative for sustainable growth,” the World Bank said in a report last year.
The report recommended gradually reducing effective rates of protection through a long-term tariff rationalization strategy to encourage exports and reallocating export financing away from working capital and into capacity expansion through the Long-Term Financing Facility.
It also advised consolidating market intelligence services by supporting new exporters and evaluating the impact of current interventions to increase their effectiveness and designing and implementing a long-term strategy to upgrade productivity of firms that fosters competition, innovation and maximizes export potential.