It’s a great honor to be entrusted with such a significant role within a prestigious association that has a long-standing history since 1935. I look forward to collaborating with a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about promoting and enhancing the import industry. I believe it’s crucial to foster an inclusive and supportive environment where ideas can be exchanged, challenges can be addressed, and solutions can be found collectively.
I wish to leverage on the knowledge and experience of the new committee and the Immediate past chairman building upon the successes of the past and introduce fresh perspectives to ensure the continued growth of the Import section and the membership.
We, the Importers play a significant role in the national economy by facilitating the flow of goods and services across international borders. Trade ensures a steady supply of essential goods, raw materials, intermediate goods, and finished products enabling growth in domestic industries whilst creating employment opportunities in transportation, logistics, warehousing and related services. Importers also encourage innovation and knowledge transfer as they engage with foreign suppliers and adopt new technologies and practices. By connecting domestic markets with international suppliers and consumers, importers enable countries to participate in global value chains and benefit from specialization, economies of scale, and technological advancements happening across borders. Further, as we are all aware, a significant amount of state revenue is generated through customs duties, tariffs, and taxes levied on imported goods. These revenues are used to finance government initiatives benefiting the overall economy.
As we experienced rapidly deteriorating economic conditions, painful recovery measures were taken to bring economic stability. Real GDP contracted by 7.8% in year 2022, inflation based on CCPI reached year on year 69.8% in September 2022, gross official reserves reduced to USD 1.7 billion, rapid depreciation of Rupee, vulnerabilities in power and energy sectors and interest rates reaching almost 30% brought severe hardships to businesses and individuals.
Towards end of year 2022 we experienced policy measures taken materializing expected results bringing much economic stability and we are thankful for policymakers and authorities for the same.
Existing acts and regulations related to import trade and identifying provisions that create unnecessary barriers, add complexity, or result in excessive bureaucracy with the aim of having simplify regulations without compromising on compliance requirements to foster an environment that encourages legitimate trade.
As I end my address, we are hopeful of further relaxation of imports restrictions and gradual changes to import taxes and levies in a meaningful manner by respective authorities in near future to suite much business-friendly atmosphere for business continuity and growth in the trade.