PR No. 60 Islamabad
51ST SESSION OF THE JOINT ADVISORY GROUP OF ITC
“International Trade Center (ITC) has been supporting trade and private sector development in Pakistan since 2004 through two Trade-Related Technical Assistance projects funded by the European Union (EU).”
“We are looking forward to further assistance from ITC to strengthen the capacity of trade support institutions to undertake trade facilitation efforts.”
(Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan)
Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan said this while speaking at the 51st annual session of the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) of ITC held in Geneva.
Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Pakistan greatly acknowledges the commendable work being delivered by ITC around the world to achieve inclusive growth by building the capacity of small and medium enterprises and enabling them to connect to international markets.
Commerce Minister said that from 2004 to 2007, ITC increased awareness and knowledge of the private sector, trade support institutions and policy makers about WTO issues, established WTO reference Centers in the country, conducted sector-specific studies to identify export potentials of the automotive, footwear, furniture, pharmaceutical and sports goods sectors, and provided advisory support for strengthening Pakistan’s capacity in the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiations.
He further added that since 2011, ITC has been strengthening the institutional capacity of the Pakistan Institute for Trade and Development (PITAD) through mentorship and training of trainers, the production of a training curriculum and certificate on International Trade Law and Commercial Diplomacy. “ITC has also provided advisory support to the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and produced evidence-based research papers which have informed Pakistan’s policy reform for export enhancement in key sectors inducing leather, textile and garments, pharmaceutical and surgical instruments industry, horticulture, dairy products and livestock”, added the commerce minister.
Khurram Dastgir Khan further said that Pakistan appreciates and values the assistance provided by the ITC in deepening the dialogue and discussions on Trade Facilitation Agreement in Pakistan. “ITC provided assistance to build capacity of all stakeholders in engaging with TFA related processes nationally and at multilateral level, which includes support for facilitation our national ratification of the protocol of amendments and notifications to the WTO and the evaluation of financial and technical assistance required for Category C provisions”, added Khurram Dastgir Khan.
Minister for Commerce said that Pakistan also benefitted from ITC technical assistance for improving national consultation process, including the involvement of private sector, in policy formulation and capacity-building to promote the efficient implementation of the TFA. “We look forward to further assistance from ITC to strengthen the capacity of trade support institutions to undertake trade facilitation efforts”, added the minister.
Khurram Dastgir Khan said that ITC is providing advisory support for a benchmarking exercise that will result in a benchmark and a roadmap for reforms in TDO (Trade Development Organization) of Pakistan which will result in enhancing our trade competitiveness.
Commerce Minister acknowledged the work done by ITC in preparation of a project proposal for EU funded GRASP (Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress) project which is a six year program that contributes to the reduction of poverty through development of rural SMEs thereby creating gender inclusive employment and income opportunities in the rural areas of Sindh and Baluchistan provinces in Pakistan through targeted support to both the public and private sector.
Khurram Dastgir Khan said that smaller businesses have mostly participated in global trade by plugging into a large multinational corporation’s supply chain. He said that technology and the Internet are creating a parallel model for emerging global trade and business of any size can reach consumers around the world through an Internet connection, intermediary services and logistical providers. “ITC has also recognized this rise of small business trade fueled by technology and is contributing tremendously in helping SMEs to adopt to this changing business environment and we being part of FEDs (Friends of Ecommerce for development) have greatly benefited from their work in this regard”, added minister for commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan.