KARACHI - Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Vice President Riaz Khattak on Tuesday said that textile millers were suffering badly due to incompetent export managers.

He alleged that these export managers were appointed on personal whims and they continued to give misleading figures to the prime minister. He said more than 70 textile units have been closed in the country due to failure of effective policies and lack of business plan by the TDAP, despite the fact internationally textile exports have been increased up to 8 percent.

He said the country is facing several economic issues and falling exports is one of the main headache for the government, which needs to be addressed with the help of competent people in the TDAP, who at least made viable export promotion policies to promote Pakistani products in the potential markets.

He said, “Up till now the country’s exports fell down by more than $5 billion in three years and its keep continue on decline, where as Bangladesh exports are on the rise of $35 billion.” “We must understand that exports of any country are considered as one of the main sources of its economy, a vital source of earning foreign exchange as well,” he added.

FPCCI Standing Committee Regional Chairman Ahmad Jawad said, “Decline in export is not only worrying for economy but it is also creating a serious issue in society, while every sector is being affected with highest electricity rates and other expenses besides textile sector”.

He said the developing countries growth depended on exports, while consistent decline in the country’s export was reducing its share in international market, which is critical, as Pakistani products should be of international standards to compete in the world. He also demanded, besides TDAP officials, the State Bank of Pakistan may also resolve exporter’s issues. He further briefed that the promises and prospects of the agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) offered during 12th SAARC Summit back in 2004 has begun to fade, at least for Pakistan.

Pakistan’s exports to SAARC countries amounted to $2.69 billion during 2015-16 remained less than the preceding year when Pakistan exported goods worth $3.29 billion to SAARC countries. For the third consecutive year, Pakistan’s trade with SAARC countries remained downwards.

The same downhill pattern repeats itself in trade between Pakistan and India, while the exports to India have plummeted steadily, the imports from the neighbour barely suffered during past three years. Pakistan has exported goods worth $303 million to India, while the imports during the same year amounted to $1.7 billion.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan exported goods worth $408 billion and $3.58 billion in year 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively. However, import goods from India after witnessing a drop from $2.04 billion to $1.69 billion have steadied during 2015-16.

The country’s main imports from SAARC countries are cotton, polymer, tomatoes, coal, dried vegetables, vessels and ships for breaking up. Major exports include wheat, sugar, rice, potatoes, citrus fruit, dates, and woven fabrics of cotton, he added.