Thursday, December 8 2022

ISLAMABAD – Federal Trade Minister Syed Naveed Qamar has said export-led growth is Pakistan’s real goal and free trade will be imperative in this regard. He recognized the importance of free markets and their role in promoting growth.
He made the remarks at the launch event for the book “Trade Connectivity”. The Economic Advisory Group (EAG) and the Policy Research Institute of Market Economics (PRIME) organized the event with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Pakistan. The event brought together dignitaries from government, private sector, academia, the IMF and the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Pakistan. Participants highlighted the importance of trade and regional connectivity in promoting economic prosperity. According to EAG, the recent import ban was not a thoughtful move by the government, but was intended to temporarily limit imports. Moreover, the uncertain political environment in the country has further slowed economic activity. However, promoting exports by tapping into new markets, increasing the export basket by reducing trade barriers is the ultimate way. Ms. Esther Perez Ruiz, IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan, added to the discussion that tariff and non-tariff trade barriers impose serious constraints on growth and sustainability.
Spain’s integration into the EU in the 1980s and 1990s was a political aspiration for the country, which led to massive economic transformation. However, Pakistan’s exports relative to GDP fell from 14% in 1990 to 10% in the 2000s. Additionally, Pakistan’s per capita GDP growth is very slow compared to its regional competitors. To realize its export potential, Pakistan needs proactive policies: exchange rate flexibility, efficient allocation of resources, elimination of subsidies and creation of an enabling business environment in the country.
Ms. Birgit Lamm, Head of FNF Pakistan Country Office, said “Pakistan has a huge market with huge potential for economic growth, but it is time to translate this potential into action to create wealth for the country and its people. citizens”.


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