The government of Pakistan is embarking on strategies to significantly boost the country’s exports in 2024. One key initiative is the approval of a reduced power tariff for the industrial sector by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). The new tariff, set at 9 cents per unit, is a significant decrease from the previous 14 cents. This move is expected to enhance the competitiveness of Pakistani products in the global market, particularly in regions like the European Union and the United States.
Dr. Ejaz Gohar, the Minister for Commerce, Industries & Production and Investment, explained that this reduced tariff, effective for the entire industrial sector, could lead to a substantial increase in exports. He mentioned that the lower tariff of 9 cents does not involve any subsidies but instead eliminates the cross-subsidy that the industrial sector was previously providing to the domestic and agriculture sectors.
The minister expressed optimism about achieving a substantial increase in exports, estimating a $20 billion rise from January to December. He highlighted that the tariff reduction would make Pakistani products more competitive on the global stage. Notably, Pakistan had already seen a positive trend in exports, with figures rising from $2.068 billion in July 2023 to $2.812 billion in December 2023, primarily driven by increased non-textile and agriculture exports.
Official data revealed a 5.2 percent growth in exports to $14.981 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year 2023-24 compared to the same period in the previous year. Dr. Gohar stressed that Pakistan has the capacity to increase monthly exports to $3 billion and aims to reach $8 billion per month through the implementation of a new industry policy.
The government is actively pursuing a “Look Africa” policy, focusing on tapping into the potential of the African market. Dr. Gohar mentioned efforts to increase the trade volume with Egypt, the largest Arab country and a gateway to Africa, from the current $400 million to $4 billion.
A delegation of 200 Pakistani companies is participating in the Fourth Pakistan-Africa Trade Development Conference and Fair in Cairo, showcasing products from various sectors like textiles, engineering, food, agriculture, and services.
The “Look Africa” policy is part of the broader strategy to strengthen commercial relations with African countries. Similar events have been organized in Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi in previous years, contributing positively to Pakistan’s commercial benefits. Overall, these initiatives reflect the government’s commitment to boosting exports, fostering economic growth, and exploring new avenues for trade and collaboration.