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Razzak Dawood eyes record exports in 2019, calls for reduction in imports

Adviser to PM for Commerce, Textile and Industry Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Saturday vowed to make a record by increasing the volume of exports to a new historical level in 2019.

“This year, we will achieve the target of highest exports in the history of the country,” he added.

Dawood, while addressing a ceremony in Karachi, said that reducing the imports was vital for economic growth.

Talking about the current economic scenario, he said that the country has lost a great deal simply because of the low quality of research and lack of research institutions. He said that as opposed to the past when the country was asking China for infrastructure projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), “we are asking them for agricultural input”.

“We are pursuing an export-led growth strategy,” he said, adding that he disliked the past policy of “imports, imports and imports”.

“One of the common challenges that we see is that our yield productivity at the farm level is still not adequate. The quality of our seed is also not very good and that is why we see a steep decline in our cotton production from 15 million bales to 10.5mn and so we are now importing raw cotton.”

Talking about the edible sector, Dawood said that the country spends billion of dollars on the import of edible oil. “That is not acceptable to us, we as a nation can’t afford to have that kind of expenditure,” he added.

On Nov 7, 2019, the adviser had said that unless “export culture” flourishes in the country, the current account deficit issue cannot be addressed on a permanent basis. “We cannot pay debt by borrowing more.”

The government, he had said, was determined to facilitate local industry to enhance exports and to provide proper facilitation at the ports. Dawood had underlined the need to develop and promote local industrial sectors on modern lines to produce competitive products.

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