Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), stated on Sunday that Pakistan has a $150 billion export potential by focusing on industrial competitiveness to grow the country’s exports in global potential markets.
“Industrial competitiveness, creative technology, regional trade promotion, and the search for new export markets could push domestic exports above the $150 billion mark,” he said.
According to The Nation, President ICCI stated that in order to reach this lofty goal, the country will need to concentrate on a number of key sectors.
“In order to achieve the agenda of economic development and prosperity in the country, we need to focus more on the producing sectors, such as agriculture, tourism, textile products, and information technology,” he stated.
He went on to say that by adding value to the agro-industry, it could increase its overall export potential to $100 billion.
He emphasised that Pakistan needed to improve its industrial competitiveness in order to compete with other regional and global companies.
He went on to say, “We need to improve the quality of local products and provide competitive energy rates to local industry.”
In response to a query about regional trade and economic integration, he stated that Pakistan had missed out on a total trade potential of PKR 70 billion with regional economies such as Afghanistan, India, and Central Asia (CARs).
He also praised the government’s transhipment policy for boosting regional transit trade with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and other Central Asian countries.
He stated that trade and economic integration with regional countries were significant factors in boosting connectivity and closer relationships with regional countries, as well as the region’s status as a global trading player similar to the European Union (EU).
He went on to say that Pakistan has a big potential to increase trade volume with African countries, with $15 billion in textile items and $9 billion in pharmaceuticals, as well as greater potential in IT items.
Yasir Ilyas stated that the transfer of industries from China will be critical to Pakistan’s industrial development, and that the ICCI had planned and proposed to the government to develop an Industrial State in the capital city to provide a conducive business environment for local and foreign investors to contribute to the country’s industrial development.
President ICCI said that through the efficiency, transparency, accountability and coordination with the business community, the government can achieve the objectives of the current economic agenda.