ISLAMABAD: International Trade Centre (ITC) has been supporting trade and private sector development in Pakistan since 2004 through two Trade-Related Technical Assistance projects funded by the European Union (EU).
Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said this while speaking at the 51st annual session of the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) of ITC held in Geneva. “We are looking forward to further assistance from ITC to strengthen the capacity of trade support institutions to undertake trade facilitation efforts,” he added. He said that Pakistan greatly acknowledges the commendable work being delivered by ITC around the world to achieve inclusive growth by building the capacity of small and medium enterprises and enabling them to connect to international markets.
The minister said that from 2004 to 2007, ITC increased awareness and knowledge of the private sector, trade support institutions and policy makers about WTO issues, established WTO reference centres in the country, conducted sector-specific studies to identify export potentials of the automotive, footwear, furniture, pharmaceutical and sports goods sectors, and provided advisory support for strengthening Pakistan’s capacity in the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) negotiations.
He further said that since 2011, ITC has been strengthening the institutional capacity of the Pakistan Institute for Trade and Development (PITAD) through mentorship and training of trainers, the production of a training curriculum and certificate on International Trade Law and Commercial Diplomacy. “ITC has also provided advisory support to the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and produced evidence-based research papers which have informed Pakistan’s policy reform for export enhancement in key sectors inducing leather, textile and garments, pharmaceutical and surgical instruments industry, horticulture, dairy products and livestock”, he added.
Dastgir said that Pakistan appreciates and values the assistance provided by the ITC in deepening the dialogue and discussions on Trade Facilitation Agreement in Pakistan. “ITC provided assistance to build capacity of all stakeholders in engaging with TFA related processes nationally and at multilateral level, which includes support for facilitation our national ratification of the protocol of amendments and notifications to the WTO and the evaluation of financial and technical assistance required for Category C provisions”, he added.