The Ministry of Commerce and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) today unveiled a comprehensive National Priority Sectors Export Strategy (NPSES) to achieve the country’s ambition of growing its trade.
It was launched by the Federal Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar. The five-year (2023-2027) sector strategies are the result of a consultative process between public and private-sector stakeholders.
The National Priority Sectors Export Strategy addresses constraints and specific steps to avail concrete opportunities in a comprehensive manner and is an integral part of Pakistan’s Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF).
The National Priority Sectors Export Strategy provides Pakistan with sectoral and functional strategies, each specifying priorities and actions to improve trade performance.
Implementing these strategies would mean strengthening and diversifying Pakistan’s economy, more jobs, higher investment opportunities, and improved competitiveness of exports.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) worked with the Government of Pakistan with financial support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK government, through the Revenue Mobilization, Investment and Trade Programme (ReMIT) to support the development of the National Priority Sectors Export Strategy.
Engineering goods, leather, processed food and beverages, fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, pharmaceuticals, software development and services, business process outsourcing, logistics and institutional coordination are the priority sectors and functions in the strategy.
To maintain the momentum sparked by the consultations, the Government of Pakistan is committed to playing a constructive and facilitative role, while making it a top priority to execute the activities and reforms outlined in the plans of action.
To continue keeping the private sector in the driving seat for the implementation process, the National Export Development Board, sector advisory councils, as well as an STPF coordination unit are being set up.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister Syed Naveed Qamar said export was the top priority for Pakistan.
He said the Government of Pakistan had taken a series of initiatives to promote exports to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, poverty reduction and improvement in the living standard of the people of Pakistan.
This strategy is in line with the objectives and policies of the Government of Pakistan. He said that we would work with all stakeholders to use the opportunities that the National Priority Sectors Export Strategy provides to create jobs and new opportunities for Pakistan.
Andrew Dalgleish, British Acting High Commissioner, said that the FCDO was proud to support programmes like ReMIT that focus on supporting Pakistan to strengthen institutional capacity for trade policy formulation and address trade barriers.
“I hope the National Priority Sectors Export Strategy will help Pakistan transform its economy to meet the needs of its rapidly growing young population, broaden its exports base and become better integrated into global value chains,” he said.
Dr Mohammad Saeed, Chief Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business, International Trade Centre said: “Driven by quality and innovation, the strategy and attendant work plan will strengthen the international presence of Pakistani products from the priority sectors. We are grateful to the Government of Pakistan, in particular, the Ministry of Commerce, TDAP, the FCDO and representatives of the public and private sector who worked with us to make the National Priority Sectors Export Strategy a reality for Pakistan.”
It is pertinent to mention here that through the development of Pakistan’s National Priority Sectors Export Strategy and capacity building of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Trade Development Authority (TDAP), the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) and business associations and groups, the programme will support formulation and reform of trade policies, including addressing some of the main barriers to trade. These efforts will reflect public-private consensus.
The project will also build business associations’ capacity for advocacy, including women entrepreneurs.