The Ministry of Commerce and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) are developing a coherent and comprehensive National Priority Sectors Export Strategy (NPSES) for Pakistan to achieve its trade growth ambition.

The commerce ministry and the TDAP recently conducted value chain consultations on priority sectors in the context of the Strategic Trade Policy Framework, said a statement issued by the British embassy in Islamabad.

During the consultations, high-level public and private sector representatives agreed on a strategic vision for Pakistan’s trade growth, under the title “Pakistan to become a dynamic and efficient domestic market and a globally competitive export-driven economy”.

More than 180 public and private sector representatives participated in the round of consultations for charting the next export growth cycle of the country. The strategy design process will focus on 10 of the priority sectors to develop implementable and measurable plans to increase their export competitiveness in the global market.

It will chalk out detailed and quantifiable roadmaps, with set responsibilities for each implementing agency to bring about policy convergence, institutional alignment, and strategic private sector support.

The development of NPSES is supported by the Revenue Mobilisation, Investment and Trade (ReMIT) Programme, implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by the United Kingdom government through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

“NPSES provides a key opportunity for the government and private sector to work together in creating jobs and new opportunities for Pakistan. The world economy is changing fast, especially in the aftermath of the global health crisis, and we need to be strategic to participate in global value chains in line with objectives and policies of the Ministry of Commerce,” said Sualeh Ahmad Faruqi, Federal Secretary of Commerce.

UK Director for Development in Pakistan Annabel Gerry said, “Trade and exports are a key part of Pakistan’s Covid-19 recovery and growth target for the current year. We are pleased to support the government in developing the National Priority Sectors Export Strategy, enabling the private sector to improve export competitiveness, tap into new products and markets and make a positive contribution to growth and jobs.”

The commerce ministry picked 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 as the priority sectors for strategic planning.

Each sector session invited industry stakeholders to define an ambitious, yet realistic and achievable roadmap for expanding export performance. Regional public and private sector representatives as well as development partners also participated in the sessions.

“These efforts will pave the way for activating sector advisory councils,” said the statement.

The advisory councils, comprising stakeholders from the public and private sectors, will be tasked with providing continuous advisory support and industry perspective to the government of Pakistan and the newly approved National Export Development Board, chaired by the prime minister.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2021.

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