Pakistan sets up Industrial Advisory Council to achieve $100 billion exports vision

Pakistan’s Ministry of Industries and Production has established the Industrial Advisory Council (IAC) to realize the country’s vision of $100 billion exports.

The inaugural session of IAC was held on December 7. Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Dr. Gohar Ejaz chaired the session, attended by industry leaders, to address crucial challenges and propose actionable strategies for the betterment of the country’s industrial sector, according to the ministry’s official release.

“During the meeting, each private sector member of the Industrial Advisory Council presented their perspectives and expertise. The presentations shed light on the challenges faced by the industrial sector and provided valuable, practical suggestions for its improvement.”

“The Ministry anticipates that the outcomes of this meeting will pave the way for innovative solutions, policy recommendations, and collaborative initiatives that will contribute significantly to the growth and sustainability of the industrial sector.”

The collaborative effort reflected a unified initiative to tap into Pakistan’s industrial potential, aligning with the goal of “Vision Pakistan: Road to $100 Billion Exports”, according to the Ministry.

The Industrial Advisory Council, a crucial element of this visionary roadmap, comprises CEOs from leading industrial groups in Pakistan as well as secretaries of industries, commerce, and finance.

Pakistan’s exports in 2022 reached a record $39.42 billion, marking a significant 24.94% surge from the previous year. Now for the fiscal 2023-24 the IAC is exclusively focused on elevating Pakistan’s export figures.

Obstacles hindering Pakistan’s exports

Earlier, the World Bank had highlighted key obstacles hindering Pakistan’s exports, including high import tariff rates, limited long-term financing, inadequate market intelligence, and low firm productivity.

“The long-term decline in exports as a share of GDP has implications for the country’s foreign exchange, jobs, and productivity growth. Therefore, confronting core challenges that are necessary for Pakistan to compete in global markets is an imperative for sustainable growth,” said the World Bank report last year.

The report recommended gradually reducing effective rates of protection through a long-term tariff rationalization strategy to encourage exports and reallocating export financing away from working capital and into capacity expansion through the Long-Term Financing Facility.

The report had also advised consolidating market intelligence services, evaluating interventions, and implementing a long-term strategy to enhance firm productivity, fostering competition, innovation, and maximizing export potential.

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