Commerce and Trade
The world economy was in a deep recession when the present government came to
power in 2008. Due to very high oil
and food prices, Pakistan economy also came under pressure. Pakistan’s export growth also
stalled. There was therefore a need
to give a medium to long term policy framework that could help increase exports
in a sustainable way. Ministry of
Commerce introduced Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF-2009-12) in July 2009
which was designed to address supply side weaknesses in Pakistan’s exports and
introduced a large number of initiatives to boost Pakistan’s export
competitiveness to the level of 23.5 billion US dollars by the end of 30th
June 2012 and this target was achieved one
year in advance as Pakistan’s exports touched the historic high of $ 25
Billion during 2010-11.
Exports performance during the present regime since 2008 is as under:-
Value in US$ Billion
Pakistan faced a serious trade balance issue in 2008 as our imports were
double than the exports. However,
the trade gap was significantly narrowed down with an impressive export
performance, especially during 2010-11.
Pakistan’s Trade Diplomacy
Pakistan faces difficult challenges in foreign markets because
competitors enjoy better tariff preferences in large import markets such as USA
and EU. On the other hand,
Pakistan’s exports have been severely hit by energy shortages, War on Terror and
2010 Floods. In this backdrop, the
Ministry of Commerce is trying to ensure better market access for Pakistanis
products by taking a number of initiatives.
Market Access Agreements
PAK-ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA)
The Ministry of Commerce is also engaged in many other market access initiatives
which are at different stages of negotiations.
A brief summary of other market initiatives in Asia Pacific are as
Joint Feasibility Study for FTA with ASEAN (10+1)
Joint Study of FTA with Thailand concluded
Joint Study with Brunei ongoing
Pakistan Vietnam Joint Committee on Trade
restarted after a long gap of ten years.
Pakistan Australia JTC
Pakistan New Zealand JTC
Trade Promotion with EU member’s countries
The European Union is Pakistan single largest trading block partner
accounting for 25% of export of Pakistan’s total export and 16% of Pakistan’s
total imports. Pakistan Export to EU
have grown from US$ 4.59 million in 2009-10 to US$ 6.18 billion in 2010-11 and
Trade balance has shifted in Pakistan’s favour.
As a result of sustained efforts by Government of Pakistan, EU has agreed
to grant concession on 75 tariff lines to Pakistan to revive its floods stricken
economy. The concessions were
subject to WTO waiver, which now has been granted due to the tireless efforts of
the ministry of Commerce and our Mission in Geneva. These concessions, with a potential
to increase Pakistan’s exports by $ 450 million to EU would be available to
Pakistani exporters for two years.
Government of Pakistan has been making vigorous efforts for Pakistan’s
inclusion in EUs GSP plus scheme for preferential market access for Pakistan’s
exports. Earlier Pakistan was not
eligible for GSP plus because Pakistan’s exports to EU were higher than the
threshold in import vulnerability criteria.
As a result of successful lobbying of the Government of Pakistan, EU has
agreed to revise its criteria in the draft GSP scheme for 2014. This proposal is expected to be
placed before the EU parliament for approval in the coming months.
Regional Trade and Connectivity
Realizing the importance of regional trade, the government has declared
Year 2012 as “Year of Regional Trade and Economic Connectivity”. Different
activities undertaken under this initiative are expected to give a big boost to
Pakistan’s trade in the region.
Afghanistan‑Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTTA)
The historic Afghanistan Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTTA) was signed by
the Government of Afghanistan and Pakistan on 20th October 2010. This agreement replaced the old
Afghan Transit Agreement of 1965.
Trade Relations with India
The Cabinet approved the Policy of normalization of Trade relations with
India and entrusted Ministry of Commerce with this major task on 2nd
November 2011. In first stage,
Pakistan will switch over from the current Positive List approach to a Negative
List by February/March, 2012. The
Negative List will be phased out by December 2012 subject to complete
normalization of trade relations and reciprocal facilitation of Pakistan’s
exports. From Pakistan’s
perspective, better market access for Pakistani products in India and removal of
NTB’s remains top most priority. It is expected that the normalization of Trade
with India will open up huge market for Pakistani exports.
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan
TDAP is the pivotal organization of the country working for the promotion
of export of Pakistan and also to provide necessary input in the Trade Policy to
the Government of Pakistan.
TDAP organizes Expo Pakistan Expo Pakistan is the largest show of
Pakistan, organized annually with the objective to promote exports. The products on display include
textile, apparel, food, leather and leather products, sports goods, carpet,
surgical and engineering goods. More
than 4000 international buyers from 17 countries have established business
contacts through this annual exhibition in the last four years.
Apart from Expo Pakistan, TDAP organized 47 trade delegations to more
than 35 countries/regions and participated/managed 58 exhibitions in 28
countries from 2008 to 2011 for export promotion.
National Tariff Commission
NTC was established by an Act of Parliament called National Tariff
Commission Act, 1990 with the functions to advise the Government on tariff
protection to the domestic industries for improving its competitiveness and
providing assistance to the exporters to promote export from Pakistan.
The Commission has processed and finalized number of tariff protection
cases relating to engineering, electronics, chemical, textile, iron and steel
and other industries during the last three years and also sent recommendations
for removal of tariff anomalies to the FBR for consideration/implementation in
Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design (PIFD)
The Parliament through an Act in 2011 reconstituted Pakistan Institute of
Fashion and Design, Lahore, in 2011. PIFD aims to educate and train manpower
capable of designing and producing functional products with aesthetic value.
PIFD comprises 4 Schools and offers four years B.S/B. Design degree
programes in 6 disciplines through its constituent schools i.e. Pakistan School
of Fashion Design, Pakistan School of Fashion Marketing and Merchandizing,
Pakistan School of Textile Design and Pakistan School of Accessories and
products. The degrees offered are
fashion designing, merchandizing, etc.
The Ministry of Commerce took an important initiative to establish 6
colleges affiliated with PIFD in 6 cities of the country in 2011. This project is being rolled out with
the collaboration of TDAP. Six new
campuses have already started working in Islamabad, Faisalabad, Peshawar,
Multan, Quetta and Halla, providing skilled manpower to the industry and help
build clusters of exports.
Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEP)
PHDEP was incorporated as a private limited company under the Companies
Ordinance 1984. Major areas of
recent activity of PHDEP are as under:-
Market Access & Promotion in partnership with
Linkages established with international importers
for kinnow and mango.
Pakistani Kinnow introduced in Poland in 2008
Mango Export to Jordan
Mango promotions carried out in Mauritius,
Lebanon and Malaysia in 2011
Mango Export to USA, Australia and Japan