Economics & Business

Country’s trade deficit likely to hit $16 bln: Minister

KARACHI: Pakistan’s trade deficit is likely to exceed 16 billion dollars by the end of this fiscal year, said Federal Minister for Commerce, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday. During his visit to Trade Development Authority, he said that government would take measures to diversify both products and markets to boost its exports. He said given the inelasticity of the country’s imports, there is no option but to enhance its exports.

The minister is currently on a fact-finding mission to meet all concerned departments of his office before any headway are made to change export policies. Meanwhile, addressing the first South Asian Tax Summit 2008 here, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the government is making effort to provide conducive atmosphere for business and trade activities to promote regional trade especially in the SAARC region.

He said the government has the vision and capability to make the country move towards progress and prosperity. The government, he said, is trying to explore new markets for our exports besides continuing with tax reforms. The Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Abdullah Yousuf in his key note address said the SAARC countries should develop economic union by 2020 to ensure progress, development and well being of the people in this region.

He said that by complete elimination of tariff barriers under SAFTA and by giving Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to member countries inter-regional trade can be increased by six folds. The tax summit is being participated by leading tax professionals and senior executives from India, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh beside Pakistan.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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