ISLAMABAD - Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has said that the government is committed to increase the country's exports by removing all the obstacles in the way of trade.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said that government has reviewed the definition of export data by including exports from Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the final figures. He further said that there was difference of $1.2 billion in exports figures of Pakistan Bureau of Pakistan and State Bank of Pakistan in last fiscal year. The government has convened a several meetings of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to review the definition of export figures.

The Adviser said significant measures have been taken to increase the country's exports. He said the federal cabinet has approved the e-commerce policy which will prove to be a milestone in boosting economy of the country. He expressed the commitment to continue all-out endeavors for further promoting exports. He further said that government is working for platform for exporting software to other countries. He said that large number of Pakistanis is working as freelance but there is no platform for counting of their services or receiving money for them.

E-commerce policy will prove to be a milestone in boosting economy

Paypal is not working in Pakistan. However, Pakistan is holding talks with Chinese WeChat Pay, and Alibaba's Alipay.

On a question, the adviser said that production of automobile sector has reduced due to the impact of the rupee depreciation and increase in interest rate. He further said that Pakistan has informed the Chinese government that Gawadar port is fully operational. The second phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement had already implemented. Similarly, he informed that Pakistan had not exported rice to Indonesia despite getting duty free access.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce has said that it is focusing on improving trade deficit and it has been successfully improved 35% in the first quarter of 2019-20. The trade deficit has come down to $ 5.72 billion from $ 8.79 billion in the first quarter. Only in September 2019, the trade deficit has improved 24% over the corresponding period.

The import compression measures are successfully deployed and imports have been brought down to $11.24 billion in July-September 2019-20 to $14.16 billion in July-September 2018-19. It shows 21% contraction in imports in the first quarter and 24.58% in September 2019. Exports have started picking up and registered 2.75% growth (in 1st quarter).