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Govt starts consultation process to launch 5-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework for 2018-23

Govt starts consultation process to launch 5-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework for 2018-23

ISLAMABAD: The Commerce Division is preparing a five-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) for 2018-23 in consultation with the private and public sectors stakeholders.

For research and development of the policy, technical assistance will be sought from various international organizations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and others.

Sources at the Ministry of Commerce told Customs Today that the stakeholders include the trade associations, chambers of commerce and industry, leading exporters, academia, think tanks, government ministries and the public sector organizations.

Sources at the Ministry of Commerce told Customs Today that Commerce Division had received input from the associations, chambers, commercial sections abroad and academia for the policy. Moreover, a series of consultative sessions have been held with all the export oriented trade bodies in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Sukkur and Multan.

Now, the Commerce Division is in the second round of consultations with the public sector organizations. “The draft policy will be submitted for the approval of the cabinet on completion of the consultative process,” the source added.

The sources said that a proposal for the establishment of an equity fund to encourage Pakistani companies to cater niche markets through acquisitions of overseas brands/brand holding companies was examined, in detail, in the Commerce Division at the time of formulation of Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2015-18, but the creation of such a fund was not found feasible.

However, the sources said that in order to promote the branding by Pakistani exporters, an incentive for brand and certification support, wherein matching grant to facilitate the branding and certification for growth of the export oriented SMEs, through intellectual property registration (including trade and service marks), certification and accreditation was approved, under STPF 2015-18. “The support for branding and certification is again under consideration in upcoming STPF 2018-23,” they concluded.