Role of Trade As­so­ci­a­tions

Enterprise - - Editor’s desk -

The rapid down­ward slide in var­i­ous aspects of national life in Pak­istan, es­pe­cially on the eco­nomic front, should be a mat­ter of se­ri­ous con­cern for those who for­mu­late the na­tion’s eco­nomic and trade poli­cies. How­ever, it also falls upon the trade bod­ies and as­so­ci­a­tions that rep­re­sent the var­i­ous sec­tors of in­dus­try and en­ter­prise in the pri­vate sec­tor, to play their due role as cat­a­lysts of eco­nomic change and growth. There are 32 cham­bers of com­merce and 80 recog­nised trade as­so­ci­a­tions in Pak­istan and each has a sig­nif­i­cant func­tion in rep­re­sent­ing its re­spec­tive ar­eas of in­ter­est be­fore the pol­i­cy­mak­ers to en­sure that national poli­cies are for­mu­lated in due cog­nizance of the national needs and in­ter­na­tional re­al­i­ties.

The pri­mary func­tion of a trade as­so­ci­a­tion is to serve its mem­bers by or­ga­niz­ing sem­i­nars and train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in trade leg­is­la­tion, mar­ket­ing and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment; or­gan­i­sa­tion and spon­sor­ing of fairs and trade shows and pub­li­ca­tion of news­let­ters and trade jour­nals. Trade as­so­ci­a­tions also col­lect and dis­sem­i­nate sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion and in­dus­try data and pre­pare in­dus­try re­ports on is­sues and de­vel­op­ments. They have an im­por­tant ‘in­dus­trial pol­icy’ func­tion, as their mem­bers are ac­tively in­volved in shap­ing the way their in­dus­try works. As such, they help pro­mote prod­uct stan­dards and best prac­tices for their in­dus­try, de­fine and pro­mote stan­dard terms and con­di­tions of sale and help the govern­ment in for­mu­lat­ing and en­forc­ing in­dus­try self-reg­u­la­tion. They are re­spon­si­ble for is­su­ing in­for­ma­tion to their mem­bers for com­pli­ance of reg­u­la­tions and mak­ing rec­om­men­da­tions on a va­ri­ety of com­mer­cial and non-com­mer­cial is­sues.

Trade as­so­ci­a­tions per­form the func­tion of pro­mot­ing, rep­re­sent­ing and pro­tect­ing the in­ter­ests of their mem­bers on such aspects as leg­is­la­tion, reg­u­la­tion, tax­a­tion and pol­icy mat­ters that would be likely to af­fect them. In fact, the ex­pand­ing scope of govern­ment eco­nomic reg­u­la­tions has made it in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for the pri­vate sec­tor to par­tic­i­pate in the plan­ning and im­ple­men­ta­tion of such reg­u­la­tions.

There are also many ways in which trade as­so­ci­a­tions un­der­take lob­by­ing in the in­ter­est of their re­spec­tive sec­tors. They have a cru­cial role to play in pro­mot­ing best in­dus­try and trade prac­tices and they do this by help­ing mem­ber com­pa­nies be­come more com­pet­i­tive. They uti­lize their tremen­dous po­ten­tial to act as a co­or­di­nated voice of busi­ness when talk­ing to the govern­ment and they per­form a use­ful task in quickly dis­sem­i­nat­ing in­for­ma­tion about govern­ment pol­icy to their mem­bers. Pro­duc­tive en­gage­ment be­tween as­so­ci­a­tions and var­i­ous rel­e­vant arms of the govern­ment is very im­por­tant for the pol­icy mak­ing process.

Since each trade as­so­ci­a­tion has ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of the in­dus­try it rep­re­sents, this in­for­ma­tion can be quickly passed on to the pol­icy-mak­ers. In this way it should be pos­si­ble for trade as­so­ci­a­tions to help in iden­ti­fy­ing emerg­ing is­sues and rec­om­mend­ing so­lu­tions. Since rep­re­sen­ta­tions made by trade as­so­ci­a­tions to the govern­ment on pol­icy mat­ters are backed by cur­rent ev­i­dence gath­ered from mem­bers, it helps with cost as­sess­ment and in draw­ing up pol­icy pro­pos­als. It is also im­por­tant to un­der­stand that trade as­so­ci­a­tions play an im­por­tant role in cul­ti­vat­ing a struc­ture fea­si­ble for trade ac­tiv­i­ties of for­eign in­vestors in Pak­istan and mak­ing it com­pet­i­tive with other Asian economies

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.