FPCCI for tapping D-8 markets to enhance exports

KARACHI   -  President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Atif Ikram Sheikh has stressed on tapping into the export market of D-8 countries for enhancing exports and to correct Pakistan’s regional trade deficit.

President FPCCI expressed the views while representing Pakistan in the all-influential General Assembly meeting of the D-8 Chambers of Commerce and In­dustry (D-8 CCI) that was also attended by Iran, Turkiye, Egypt, Indonesia, Ban­gladesh and Nigeria, said a statement re­ceived here on Friday. Atif Ikram Sheikh expressed his vision that Pakistan must tap into the export market of D-8 coun­tries with a combined GDP of $4.92 bil­lion as tapping into these markets has the potential to correct Pakistan’s regional trade deficit for a number of reasons.

Pakistan has friendly ties with the D-8 members, along with geographical con­tiguity or land-based access with some member countries while land-based routes could also be used for transship­ment to D-8 countries, he said, adding that shipment to these countries takes lesser time and costs, he said. He added that with intra D-8 trade at merely 5 per­cent, there are low-hanging fruits to be grabbed in a short-span of time. FPCCI chief informed that General Assembly meeting of D-8 CCI discussed in detail road map and strategy for intra-alliance trade promotion, plan of activities for next three years, arbitration system, D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement (D-8 PTA), visa-related issues, transportation costs, value chain economic fruits, regional connectivity, currency swap agreement, barter trade and D-8 Halal Exposition in Indonesia.

Atif Sheikh noted that the D-8 bloc rep­resents more than 5 percent of global GDP; which makes the alliance a signifi­cant one for the D-8 countries in particu­lar and the entire region in general. He explained that Pakistan could enhance its exports by $5-10 billion within 2-3 years only by capturing the D-8 market in value-added textiles, IT and ITeS services, sports goods, rice, fruits and vegetables, surgical equipment, pharmaceuticals and construction materials. D-8 countries have a cumulative population of more than 1.1 billion and Preferential Trade Agreement can usher a wave of economic prosperity, investments and joint ven­tures, industrial collaborations, tourism and hospitality boost, establishment of cost-controlled trade routes and a collec­tive voice in economic affairs at other in­ternational forums, FPCCI chief asserted.

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