TDAP CEO sees avenues for exports to African states

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LAHORE: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) CEO Zubair Motiwala has underlined the need for more value addition and exploring new markets for textile exports, besides focusing on research and development (R&D) work to enhance productivity and quality.

Speaking at a reception hosted by former Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) chairman Ijaz A Khokhar, the TDAP chief said that there was a need to search for non-traditional markets as there were multiple opportunities in the growing economies of Africa since China and India had already been focusing on that region.

He termed value-added textile exporters “frontline soldiers of the economy” as despite multiple challenges they were earning billions of dollars for the country.

Praising efforts of the Sialkot-based industry, he stressed that they made the highest value addition through R&D to improve the productivity and quality of goods.

Motiwala, however, pointed out that Pakistan’s economy was facing a very tough time and cost of doing business was increasing day by day. “At TDAP, we are ready to facilitate trade and industry to increase the country’s exports; with improved supply chain, the industry can reduce the cost of doing business,” he remarked.

On the occasion, the ex-Prgmea chairman highlighted the issues being faced by the industry, particularly exporters, and demanded long-term economic policies in consultation with all stakeholders.

Inviting the attention of central bank, he stated that travellers were allowed to carry only $5,000, which was not sufficient for a two-week trip and needed to be enhanced to at least $10,000 as hoteling and transportation costs had gone up due to soaring inflation.

He asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to ensure the release of sales tax refunds for exporters within two weeks because no industry could survive on loans at extremely high rates.

“Ideally speaking, the government should restore the zero-rated policy to enhance exports, which are declining,” he said.

“Higher interest rates have badly hurt cash flow of the industry and they should be reduced as exporters, especially Sialkot businessmen, are facing a severe liquidity crunch.”

Khokhar said that continuous exchange rate fluctuation made it difficult to quote prices for goods export, which was a major issue that made foreign buyers reluctant “The industry believes dollar rate may be fixed for at least three months.”

Suggesting measures for enhancing exports, the former Prgmea chief called for adopting an aggressive marketing strategy in line with the strategies of competitors, by appointing honorary consul generals in all European countries, which would cost nothing.

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