LAHORE: Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood on Saturday said that Taliban takeover of Afghanistan had not affected trade activities which were going on without any issue.
Talking to journalists following the inaugural of Pakistan Footwear Design Hub, set up in collaboration with the Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association (PFMA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, he said no one should worry as the country had been awarded the GSP+ status for two years.
Mr Dawood said, “We know the situation in Afghanistan. Though there are issues, but there is no reduction in the Pak-Afghan trade. The trucks are going there via Torkham and other land borders.”
He further said that trade with India was not going on. “At present we need to focus on our western borders. We will see the eastern border later.”
Efforts being made to retain GSP+ status for another two years
Responding to a question, Mr Dawood said that the GSP plus status has been given to Pakistan for two years and efforts for another two years are under way these days. “There is no issue in this regard. The prime minister has also held a meeting with us recently,” he added.
The commerce adviser claimed that the government’s well-structured policies have made Pakistan now an exporter of mobile phones. “In July this year, Pakistan exported 5,000 to 10,000 mobile phones to various countries for the first time. We have almost ended the old culture of importing everything,” he added.
Mr Dawood said the Pakistan was not the only country in the world where prices of commodities, eatables etc were seeing an upward trend. Besides commodities, the prices/tariff of freight containers, shipping etc globally have increased to the maximum for the first time, he added.
To a question related to increasing dollar rate in Pakistan despite a receipt of $3 billion from IMF and $2bn as foreign remittance, the adviser said the country would be comfortable if the dollar rate ranged between Rs160 to 165 or below.
Earlier, talking about the shoe industry, he said that country’s footwear exports always remained very low in the past due to various issues including non-preparation of worldwide accepted designs in collaboration with the other countries.
“I am really very impressed and happy to see that we have finally setup the footwear design hub in Lahore where shoe designs in collaboration with designers from Italy, US and Pakistan. This will really help us in capturing the shoe exports market,” he said, adding that due to increase in local production, shoe imports are coming down fast.
Pakistan’s first shoes design hub aims to bridge the gap between the local footwear industry and its skill & quality development. It supports developing and upcoming brands, individual entrepreneurs and freelance designers in term of latest technology, marketing and business planning to enhance their reach to the international market. The objective is to make Pakistan’s footwear industry more competitive in term of design and cost with its European counterparts.
Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2021