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ISLAMABAD: A National Assembly panel, on Wednesday, observed that Pakistan should not become a party to the US-China conflict and the ongoing trade war between the two major powers and rather take stringent measures to enhance its exports through effective diplomacy by taking advantage of the situations.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, with Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah Tiwana in the chair, was given a detailed briefing on the US-China trade war and its impacts on Pakistan by senior officials of the Foreign Office, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis at the Parliament House.

After thorough discussion, the committee expressed concern over the US-China trade war and directed that the government to make sure that Pakistan avoids becoming a party to any conflict between the two major nations and take stringent measures to enhance its exports through effective diplomacy in order to generate maximum revenue for the country.

About the modes of opportunities for Pakistan’s economy out of this trade war, the committee was informed that the country’s economy can benefit by capturing market share in the US market in products affected by higher tariffs and through attracting investment and relocation of Chinese industries to Pakistan’s special economic zones (SEZs).

It was further informed that an analysis of the Pakistan’s current exports and the items affected by the trade war between the US and China has revealed that Pakistan and the US may enhance its exports in the potential areas such as apparels, processed textiles and carpets, footwear, leather, and other items such as toys, sports goods and furniture, as all these sectors face lower tariffs than China in the US market.

About the export enhancing strategy, the committee was told that the goal of tapping potential in the US market by capturing market share can be achieved by trade promotion through exhibitions, trade and investments moots, awareness campaigns inside Pakistan to appraise business community about opportunities arising out this trade war, addressing supply side issues and development of skilled human resources.

As about the threats to Pakistan’s economy, the panel was informed that any future trade deal between the US and China may offset the tariff pressure resulting in loss to the relocated business.

The panel also directed the concerned ministries to strengthen the performance appraisal system for commercial attachés for their result-oriented performance, so that targets set by the government could be achieved.

The committee directed that Pakistan should take part in Expo 2020 Dubai, effectively, in order to promote Pakistani exports in the international markets and provide proper guidance to Pakistani traders, so that they could work in a combative environment.

The committee decided to have a comprehensive briefing by the Ministry of Commerce on Expo 2020 Dubai in the next meeting.

The meeting was attended by Mohammad Khan Daha, Zain Hussain Qureshi, Jamshed Thomas, Ali Zahid, Zahra Wadood Fatemi, Maiza Hameed, Ali Nawaz Shah, Noorul Hassan Tanvir, and Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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