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Promotion of regional trade a must to enhance exports: Ijaz A. Mumtaz

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Lahore, September 11, 2015 (PPI-OT): President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ijaz A. Mumtaz has said that promotion of regional trade is a must to enhance exports which are showing a declining trend. In a statement issued here, the Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that it is a matter of concern that our exports are going down at a time when our competitors are writing new stories of success in the global market.

The LCCI President said that we are still struggling to achieve our minimal export target despite having all resources to move forward while those countries are far ahead of us which were following our economic role model in the past. LCCI President said that Pakistan’s exports base is extremely limited and concentrated in five products namely cotton, leather, rice, synthetic and textile. He said that more than 60% exports earnings are contributed by the textile industry while 15% of total exports contributed by leather, synthetic made ups and rice.

“It is time to diversify our businesses and have to add new products to attract maximum foreign buyers for Pakistani products”, Ijaz A. Mumtaz added. LCCI President stressed the need for developing regional, product specific and target oriented marketing strategy. He said that new markets and new products need to be explored to reduce country’s dependence on few commodities and countries. He said that Pakistan’s exports are highly concentrated in few items. Such concentration in few markets can also become a source for instability in export earnings.

He said that we should move towards higher value added to increase our exports. He also urged the exporters of textiles, leather, rice and sports goods to develop their own brands to win the international market. Ijaz A. Mumtaz also urged the private sector, not only to concentrate on promotion of regional trade that is more efficient in terms of cost and logistics but to explore huge untapped African market.

He said that Pakistan occupies a strategic location and has ability to act as a major player in transforming the region into a trade and manufacturing hub. LCCI President said that the promotion of regional trade also offers promising benefits to the industry as it would enable it to source raw materials from the region that would ultimately reduce cost of production and create opportunities to improve economy of scales by having easy access to neighbouring markets on the other hand.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that a freer movement of the businessmen can transform this region into a bloc like European Union where the people remain in peace like as a family. He said, “Pakistan has lost momentum but it has ability to bounce back as it has over 50 per cent of young population, 12 per cent of known global natural resources, and all prerequisites to become a developed nation. He said that South Asian countries have the opportunity to rethink and pursue new sources of growth in both domestic and external markets.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-6368854

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