ISLAMABAD: Small industries have expressed concern over concessions given to foreign companies under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and free-trade agreements with different countries.

In a meeting with a senior official of the Ministry of Industries on Friday, local manufacturers under the aegis of the Organisation for Advancement and Safeguard of Industrial Sector (Oasis) noted that CPEC was also posing new challenges for the domestic industry in Pakistan.

“The Chinese industry has achieved economies of scale over the years, primarily due to their huge domestic market, industry-friendly policies and multiple incentives by the government,” Oasis Executive Director Atif Iqbal told the media after the meeting.

Oasis believed that the CPEC could only be beneficial for Pakistan if the country’s exports were boosted through this mega trade route.

Mr Iqbal added that Oasis has also requested the Federal Board of Revenue and the National Tariff Commission (NTC) to adopt measures against unfair trade to safeguard interests of the indigenous industry.

One issue regarding imports from China was under-invoicing, and the authorities on both sides should set up an online system for data exchange as soon as possible, he said.

“Oasis has also requested the NTC to be vigilant and take immediate cognisance of unfair trade practices like dumping,” he said, adding that priorities should be set by considering interest of the local industry and then borders for free trade could be opened up.

The organisation has been pushing for the protection of small and medium sized industries and has also criticised large-scale manufacturers for ignoring their rights.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2016

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