he 2016 Edition of the above Report marks the 7th year of this annual publication by Pakistan Business Council (PBC). The underlying of objective this publication has been to sensitize Pakistanis in general and the policy makers in particular to the slowly eroding share of Pakistani manufacturing in its own domestic markets. The major findings of the 2016 Report are:
Massive under-reporting or mis-declaration or under-invoicing in imports continues. In 2015 the gap between just Chinese Reported Exports to Pakistan and Pakistan’s Reported Imports from China have increased to US$5.4 Billion! Since the signing of the FTA in 2006 the total “unaccounted for imports from China” makeup a whooping US$25.8 Billion in un-taxed imports!
FTAs have failed to Boast Exports – However the Appetite for More seems Insatiable:
The “Silver Bullet” for boosting exports – Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have failed miserably to deliver, yet the appetite of the Commerce Ministry for signing more FTAs seems insatiable. Despite the PBC’s repeated requests for a moratorium on fresh FTAs the Commerce Ministry is currently busy in finalizing Phase II of the China Pakistan FTA as well as FTAs with Thailand, Turkey and South Korea.
Huge Leakages in Transit Trade Persist:
Imports of primary raw materials destined for non-existent industries as well as products for which there is no significant demand in Afghanistan continues. A case in point is the import of Black Tea by Afghanistan, a nation which traditionally does not drink this type of tea has increased its imports of black tea by 150% in 2015 over the 2014 figure.
Pakistani industry is being disseminated – ceramic tiles, paper and paperboard, electric motors, footwear, readymade garments to name a few, those that have already been wiped out include stationery, toys, bicycles, electric heaters etc. In the absence of a level playing field for domestic manufacturing, no amount of improvements in the supply of energy will make a difference to investments and jobs in the manufacturing sector.
The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) is a private sector not-for-profit Section 42 Company which has 55 of Pakistan’s largest businesses including multinationals as its members. More information about the PBC, its activities and its members can be found on our website: www.pbc.org.pk