Export potential of Pakistani auto parts, phones, electrical appliances untapped: Murtaza
ISLAMABAD, Oct. 13 (Gwadar Pro) - “Pakistan can become an export hub for auto parts, mobile phones and electrical appliances,” noted Federal Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud while commenting on the cooler economy amid the flood situation.
The government had imposed a ban on the imports of more than three dozen non-essential and luxury items on May 19 as part of an emergency economic plan to stabilise the depleting foreign exchange reserves and rising import bill. As per Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail, the decision had helped contain the imports in a way, as the trade deficit had dramatically shrunk during the current fiscal year.
Referring to this, Syed Murtaza Mahmud told Gwadar Pro, “the short term measures taken by the finance ministry were for a short period, in which they discouraged the import of parts for auto sector, mobile phones, electrical equipment and electrical appliances, but things have improved a lot now. Their Letter of Credits (LCs) and other issues have been sorted out.”
A few months later the ban was lifted as demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but restrictions on import of completely built-up automobiles, mobile phones, and home appliances remained in place.
“I think there is a lot of potential for mobile exports from Pakistan, and electrical appliances as well. The government is working on it,” he further said, adding that the ministry is engaged with the mobile phone sector and is in discussions with them to figure out supportive policies.
The remaining ban has also led to Pakistan’s two leading car assemblers, Toyota and Suzuki, to plan partial plant shutdowns due to the unavailability of raw materials amid restrictions.
“There is no doubt that the current situation has created difficulties for the auto sector. Our trade deficit was huge, the finance ministry focused on the auto sector and mobile phones, as we wanted to reduce our imports,” Syed Murtaza Mahmud pinpointed, saying that unless the country comes towards localization and export of auto parts, these issues will not be addressed.
“We will continue to face this issue until we move towards localization and we start making auto parts in Pakistan. I think there is a huge potential in Pakistan as we have cheap labor, and if we give good policies then Pakistan has great potential in the export of auto parts. The total export of auto parts from Pakistan can be improved,” the minister told the reporter.
Pakistan has untapped potential in exports to important destinations such as China along with several other trading partners, Syed Murtaza Mahmud noted. “I am hopeful that if we give good policies, this export can increase a lot.”