Pakistani exporters need to fully concentrate on enhancing their exports to the potential markets of EU countries, as the GSP plus facility granted by European Union to Pakistan will remain intact by December 31, 2023, said Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dasttgir on Monday while addressing a function in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI).
He said mid-term review of GSP plus was also scheduled during next year but it did not mean that this facility was being withdrawn. There is a huge untapped potential to increase trade with eastern EU countries and hence exporters should fully exploit these available opportunities.
The federal minister said that the present government had privilege to recruit 13 commercial officers purely on merit basis who had been deputed in various potential countries and the business community should remain in touch with them to fully avail from their expertise. Exporters must remain in contact with them while travelling to these countries.
Pakistan has inked Free Trade Agreements with China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia which are underutilized. The business community should fully exploit these FTAs for which the Federal Minister was ready to depute commercial officer from TDAP or from his ministry to guide them in this respect.
Khurram Dastgir said that they are going to establish a banking system with Iran within next couple of weeks which will open new opportunities for the Pakistani businessmen. The federal government has already approved this proposal and work on it would be started as soon as it was signed by the concerned authorities.
He hoped that 2017 would be the best year for the economy of Pakistan. Also the prices of electricity and gas would start decreasing during this year.
He asked the businessmen to submit their proposals specifically for the export oriented industry through which the surcharge of Rs. 3.4 could be eliminated for the exporters.
Regarding Rs 180 billion textile package, he said that the government was not restricted to this amount. They are ready to pay them much more incentives up to Rs 360 billion provided exporters play their role in doubling their exports.
He further clarified the subsidy would be for total export proceeds made up to June 30, 2017. In this connection after the approval of government the State Bank had issued a circular however he would try to adopt a system for the payment of subsidy on quarterly basis from next year.
About the payment of refund cases, the government had paid refund amounting to 50 billion. He would request the PM to pay yet another big traunch within next few months and intended that all pending refund cases should be disposed of positively before the announcement of next year budget.
Regarding duty on cotton yarn, the issues would be reviewed in a scheduled meeting of Pakistan Textile Board. About Faisalabad Expo Center, funds from EDF would be released as soon as the land was transferred to the construction company.
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