Trade with China should benefit both countries, not one: Dawood

Published October 4, 2018
In this file photo, China's Ambassador Yao Jing meets Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood earlier in September. Photo: File
In this file photo, China's Ambassador Yao Jing meets Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood earlier in September. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the prime minister on industries and production Razaq Dawood on Wednesday said that the rising tension between the US and China over trade tariffs was a good sign for Pakistan as “it would place us in a better negotiating position”.

“The prime minister is visiting China on Nov 4 and we will take advantage of this situation by pitching our position as a trade partner,” Mr Dawood said, briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production.

He said the government wanted trade to be more bilateral with China instead of the current unilateral position. Mr Dawood stressed for rationalising import regime to reduce duties over raw material so that the finished products become cheap and competitive.

Responding to a query from the committee’s chairman Ahmed Khan that Pakistani firms were not competent enough to meet the modern day requirements, the adviser to PM said that the main issue regarding award of government contracts was corruption.

“There is corruption and mal-intent in every deal,” he said, adding that it did not mean the engineering base was weak.

The advisor also spoke about the potential benefits and risks concerning the China-Pakistan Economic Corrider (CPEC). “Our industry should prepare to compete with those [risks] in the industrial zones of CPEC, but we will also ensure that our industries are adequately protected,” he said.

Referring to a power plant established under CPEC, Mr Dawood pointed out that even the ladder and furniture in that power plant had been imported from China. “This is not right. We need to provide opportunities for the local industry too,” he added.

He also criticised the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China and said that as a result of concessions granted to China under the agreement, Pakistan was becoming a trading nation.

The committee was informed that imports from China amounted to around $15 billion whereas exports to China from Pakistan were $1.5bn.

“I have asked the Chinese ambassador to raise the imports from Pakistan to at least $2bn. We have highlighted 330 tariff lines out of total 7,500 tariff lines of the customs where we need relaxations,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 4th , 2018

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...
Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...