Minister backs retail sector’s endeavor to enhance exports


Appreciating the organized retail sector’s endeavor of expanding in the exports arena, Interim Federal Minister for Industries & Production Dr. Gohar Ejaz has assured the government’s full commitment, providing them maximum policy support, as the retail sector has announced to play its role to boost the country’s exports through e-commerce and by setting up their outlets abroad.
The Federal Minister, in a meeting with the high-level delegation of Chainstore Association of Pakistan (CAP), reiterated the government pledge of continuing its consultation process with the organized retail sector and Chainstore Association to facilitate the formal sector and enhance its exports.
The Minister’s comprehensive discussion with CAP team, which took place on Thursday, regarding the strategies and initiatives aimed at bolstering domestic commerce in order for it to foster export-led growth and enhance the overall business environment in Pakistan in close consultation with the private sector.
Federal Minister Dr. Gohar Ejaz was accompanied by Commerce Secretary Sualeh Ahmad Faruqi, Additional Secretary Industries Asad Rehman Gilani, Special Secretary Commerce Sarah Saeed and Secretary Board of Investment Sohail Rajput while the CAP delegation consisted of its top leadership, including, CAP Vice Chairman Asad Shafi, CAP Co-Founder Asfandyar Farrukh, Shamoon Sultan, S.M. Nabeel, Ahmed Hussain, Nabeel Abdullah, Altaf Hashwani, Kamran Saleem, Wasif Butt, Wahaj Tariq, Shehryar Buksh, Junaid Dandia and Huzaifa Siddiqui, representing the leading chainstores of the country.
The Minister expressed his unwavering commitment to sustained economic growth and facilitating trade. He called on the leadership of CAP and organized retail to strive for higher export volumes through exceptional value-addition of branded products and ‘Made in Pakistan’.
In the meeting, the Minister asked the Chainstore Association’s office-bearers to strive for higher exports volumes. He assured the retailers of the government’s full support in the endeavor of revitalizing the organized retail sector and expanding the country’s access to the global markets.
Mr. Gohar Ejaz also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to combating smuggling activities, bolstering domestic manufacturing and ensuring a level-playing field for legitimate businesses.
To facilitate Pakistani entrepreneurs on the international stage, he directed relevant authorities to ensure comprehensive assistance through the ministry’s trade and investment officers posted in missions abroad.
With the support of the business community and strategic government initiatives, this ambitious endeavor holds the promise of bolstering the nation’s economic prowess and global trade stature.
The CAP delegation, on this occasion, felicitated the minister to assume the charges, as he was a seasoned entrepreneur, dedicated philanthropist, and prominent stalwart in Pakistan’s industrial landscape.
The CAP proposed its recommendations to tackle crucial challenges and capitalize on potential opportunities in the country’s economic sphere. They highlighted various measures to address the prevailing issues in Pakistan’s economic landscape and assured their role in achieving bold objectives.
The Chainstore Association’s delegation pointed out that the government’s decision of early closure of markets will be detrimental and prove to be highly counterproductive, proposing alternative measures to ensure balanced energy conservation, as the reduction in retail peak hours will substantially reduce revenues and adversely impact the domestic value chain, especially the tax compliant segment which is reeling under a lop-sided burden of taxes.
The Minister proposed that a committee be formed with representatives from the retail sector to find balanced and effective solutions to tackle the current challenges and devise effective policies to augment domestic commerce whilst ensuring digitalization and tax contribution across the board.
The CAP leadership appreciated the highly positive sentiments of the Ministries of Commerce and Industries & Production and pledged to play an active role.
The Chainstore Association of Pakistan is the largest trade body of organized retailers and represents over 200 of the most prominent retail businesses and SMEs in the country. The organized retail sector operates approximately 20,000 physical outlets and online stores, which are integrated with the Federal Board of Revenue.
The organized retailers operate in the documented or formal sector, are tax-compliant and have invested in industry best practices towards superior product quality, professional customer service, employee well-being and latest technology.