PM ap­proves Strate­gic Trade Pol­icy Frame­work 2015-18

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Prime Min­is­ter Muham­mad Nawaz Sharif has ap­proved the Strate­gic Trade Pol­icy Frame­work (STPF) 2015-18. The mid-term strate­gic trade pol­icy frame­work was for­mu­lated through an ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tive process, span­ning over al­most a year keep­ing in view the cur­rent trends in global trad­ing en­vi­ron­ment and the de­clin­ing trend wit­nessed in Pak­istan's ex­ports dur­ing 2015 due to ex­oge­nous shocks, cou­pled with do­mes­tic fac­tors, and in­elas­tic im­port de­mand, said a press re­lease of the PM House me­dia wing on Sun­day.

A Trade Com­mit­tee (TC), headed by Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Com­merce, has also been es­tab­lished which would mon­i­tor the im­ple­men­ta­tion of STPF 2015-18. It would re­move bot­tle­necks, ex­am­ine is­sues, re­lat­ing to trade pro­mo­tion, strengthen in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness and pre­sent­ing An­nual STPF Im­ple­men­ta­tion Re­port to Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Pro­duc­tion & Ex­ports as well as Fed­eral Ex­port De­vel­op­ment & Pro­mo­tion Board (FEDPB). Learn­ing from the pre­vi­ous two medium term frame­works i.e. STPF 2009-12 and STPF 2012-15, it had been en­sured that pro­ce­dural and bud­getary bot­tle­necks were re­moved in the STPF 2015-18 to achieve the tar­gets of en­hance­ment of an­nual ex­ports to US$ 35 bil­lion, Im­prove­ment in Ex­port Com­pet­i­tive­ness, Tran­si­tion from "fac­tor-driven" econ­omy to "ef­fi­ciency-driven" and "in­no­va­tion-driven" econ­omy, and In­creas­ing Share in Re­gional Trade through key en­ablers of Com­pet­i­tive­ness, Com­pli­ance to Stan­dards, Pol­icy En­vi­ron­ment and Mar­ket ac­cess.

All busi­ness pro­cesses have si­mul­ta­ne­ously been for­mu­lated and bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion of Rs 6 bil­lion had been ap­proved to im­ple­ment the trade pol­icy ini­tia­tives for year 2015-16, while con­tin­ued bud­getary sup­port in fi­nan­cial year 2016-17 and 2017-18 has been pro­posed.

Un­der the STPF 2015-18, a short-term ex­port en­hance­ment strat­egy has also been de­vised that in­cluded the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of fo­cus prod­ucts, fo­cus mar­kets, and mar­ket linked fo­cus prod­ucts.

The es­ti­mated cost of the short-term ex­port en­hance­ment mea­sures is Rs 450 mil­lion for the year 2015-16 and Rs 1450 mil­lion for three years i.e 2015-18. Th­ese amounts are in­cluded in the over­all al­lo­ca­tion for the STPF. The STPF 2015-18 has iden­ti­fied four main pil­lars i.e. prod­uct so­phis­ti­ca­tion and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion (re­search and de­vel­op­ment, value ad­di­tion, and brand­ing), mar­ket ac­cess (en­hanc­ing share in ex­ist­ing mar­kets, ex­plor­ing new mar­kets, trade diplo­macy and re­gion­al­ism), In­sti­tu­tional de­vel­op­ment and strength­en­ing (re­struc­tur­ing, ca­pac­ity build­ing, and new in­sti­tu­tions), and Trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion (re­duc­ing cost of do­ing busi­ness, stan­dard­iza­tion, and reg­u­la­tory mea­sures).

All the stake­hold­ers in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor in­clud­ing Fed­er­a­tion of Pak­istan Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try, district cham­bers, trade as­so­ci­a­tions, pri­vate busi­nesses, academia, think tanks, trade mis­sions, Min­istries/Divi­sions and other govern­ment agen­cies had been ac­tively en­gaged in for­mu­la­tion of the STPF that cul­mi­nated with com­pre­hen­sive de­lib­er­a­tions dur­ing the Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil Meet­ing, chaired by the Min­is­ter for Com­merce and at­tended by the stake­hold­ers as well as prom­i­nent ex­porters and pub­lic sec­tor de­ci­sion mak­ers.

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