RAWALPINDI : The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Malik Shahid Saleem has urged government to finalise the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (2018-23) at the earliest. There is a need to devise a comprehensive strategic approach to boost exports in the country. The business community desired government’s commitment for sector specific intervention to increase trade and prioritize integration of SMEs in trade policy 2018-23. In a statement issued on Friday, President RCCI said that a continues fall of exports has been observed despite numerous incentives announced for exporters community; uninterrupted RLNG to 5 zero-rated industries, cut in input costs, low oil prices and preferential trade agreements (PTA) with certain countries. He said that technology and innovation driven items (services sector) must be focused as it can enhance the country's exports, adding that export led growth is only solution for empowering country's economy.

We have great expectations from the government that it will include the input and recommendations from all chambers of commerce and associations in the country.

We do appreciate government recent steps on tax rationalization and ease of paying taxes to facilitate the local and international investors.

Malik Shahid Saleem said that when we compare Pakistan with its neighboring countries, many countries are ahead of Pakistan despite having great potential. Pakistan had surplus wheat, rice and sugar but due to lack of planning and policy our exports are facing a stagnant behavior.

Trade shows, single country exhibitions, frequent exchange of delegations, seminars, conferences, public-private partnership, trade dialogue, access to market, easy transportation, low taxation and duties should be a key part of such policy, he urged.