Islamabad, March 17, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister of Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan held detailed consultative sessions here in Islamabad today with representatives of Auto and Agriculture sectors separately on the prospect of Pakistan’s trade with regional trading partners. This was the second round of consultations within two months with the said sectors.
The Commerce Minister assured the stakeholders that the Government considered them its perennial partners in the effort to unleash economic growth and create new jobs in Pakistan. “The stakeholders’ proposals for strengthening the relevant state institutions will be given utmost and constant consideration. We will listen, address concerns, remove hurdles, and implement promptly agreed plan of action”, he said.
He also informed the meeting that under guidance of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Ministry of Commerce is undertaking a vigorous campaign of economic diplomacy to win market access for Pakistani products and to increase regional economic connectivity. The first dividend of this campaign, he noted, had already been achieved in shape of GSP+ trade concessions from European Union for ten years.
Representatives of both sectors supported Government’s efforts towards trade liberalization provided Pakistan’s trade defense mechanisms were strengthened so that agriculture and auto sectors of Pakistan could be competitive vis-à-vis regional trading partners. Both sectors appreciated the Minister for inviting them and holding focused consultations with them on trade issues.
The stakeholders highlighted certain non-tariff barriers faced by Pakistan exporters in the region and the imperative for a level playing field with respect to regional trading partners.
The Minister assured the stakeholders that Commerce Ministry has already begun strengthening and reforming the National Tariff Commission (NTC) and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to undertake trade defense measures in case of probable injury or threat to the local industry due to surge in imports and to develop national standards for imports and exports respectively.
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