China to bridge trade gap with more buying from Pakistan: A.Razaq Dawood

KARACHI:Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce,Textile, Industry and Investment Abdul Razaq Dawood on Wednesday said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has made Chinese government realized to bridge wide gap in trade between Pakistan and China, which is in latter’s favour.

China genuinely wanted to bridge this trade gap and establish a good trade balance. As a step forward in this direction, a high profile Chinese buying delegation is scheduled to come to Pakistan on October 8, 2018 with many Pakistani products on their purchasing list, he informed the value-adding textile sector representatives in a meeting with them at Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) Office here.

He informed that on November 4, Pakistan government’s delegation, led by him, would visit Beijing to have meetings with Chinese Commerce Minister and other concerned authorities and talk on re-visiting of freed trade agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and China, and on the implementation of ASIAN agreement besides taking up many other issues related to trade and investment.

“We have already discussed the issue of trade gap/ trade imbalance with the Chinese Foreign Minister during his recent visit to Islamabad and the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan,” he said adding that PTI government would seek concessional tariff on 330 items.

The big gap in Pak-China trade is a serious issue and PTI government was making its all possible efforts on this account. However, he said, it would take some time.

PM’s Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce assured the business community that he would not negotiate anything with China about trade and investment without maximum possible consultation with the business community of the country through their representative trade bodies. For this purpose, he would soon held a detailed meeting

with the representatives of value-added textile sector here to get their feedback/recommendation before his planned visit to China on November 4, 2018– leading an important Pakistan government team.

The Advisor said he would try to meet every stakeholder in private sector and to talk mainly on strategic issues to boost industrialization, investment and exports of the country; especially textile exports.

“I see value-adding sector as the real player in Pakistan’s exports.

That is why, I started my series of interactive meetings from you

people,” he remarked.

He urged them to give concrete proposals on trade, industry and investment in writing so that the government could better negotiate with China.

Abdul Razaq Dawood said that he believed in real agreements instead of signing memorandum of understanding (MOUs) and having photo sessions.

He said China had promised to provide special corridor for Pakistani exhibitors at Chinese Expo Centers to help promote Pakistan’s trade.

He also informed that PTI Government was also working on another textile policy with minimum tax on the raw materials.

He said his Ministry would also take initiatives to control contamination of textile materials including cotton seed for providing competitive edge to Pakistan’s textile industry in the region and in the international market.

He assured that in next annual budget the government would focus on long-term tariff rationalization. In the mini-budget, announced this month, there was no option but to do some adjustments left by the past PML-N government, he said.

These things were already occurred, he explained.

The PM’s Advisor agreed to an exporter Aamir Butt that Pakistan

government should stop Chinese businessmen from lifting the primary goods as it would harm Pakistan’s value-adding sector.

Chief Coordinator of PHMA and Chairman of Pakistan Apparel Forum, Mohammad Jawed Bilwani gave the Advisor a detailed presentation on textile industry issues especially that of value-adding sector.

He complained of the high cost of manufacturing and short supply of utilities especially water for industrial use in SITE Area. Besides shortage and high price of water, its quality was also sub-standard that brings negative impact on textile manufacturing process including low quality products.

Abdul Razaq Dawood gave patient hearing and agreed to the most of Bilwani’s proposals for the growth of textile industry and the exports.

Chairman, Council of All Pakistan Textile Assciations and a leading exporter, Mohammad Zubair Motiwala emphasized the need for providing incentives to the growers of different crops especially cotton for sustained growth in exports.

“Unless we succeed in making export surplus, Pakistan’s exports would not witness significant increase,” he said.