Islamabad, March 20, 2014 (PPI-OT): Government realizes the need to harmonize national policy issues keeping in view the international requirements by various organizations and regulatory agencies to ensure an effective and efficient service delivery.
In the presence of an effective National Quality Policy, “Made in Pakistan” will become a seal of quality. This was said by Mr. Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Science and Technology at the finalization of the draft of National Quality Policy (NQP) 2014.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology with the support of European Union funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) Programme, here today.
The NQP draft was developed after a series of consultations and workshops with the public and private sector stakeholders, spread over 18 months, under the flagship of Ministry of Science and Technology and with the immense support and technical assistance of EU funded TRTA II programme being implemented by UNIDO in association with ITC and WIPO.
At this occasion, Mr. Pierre Mayaudon, Deputy Ambassador of EU Delegation to Pakistan said that the decision of the EU to grant Pakistan GSP plus status has given Pakistani and European business an opportunity to increase trade between the two sides.
Pakistan is the largest economy of the ten countries that have been given this status. It is a clear indication that the EU would like to enhance its trade with Pakistan.
It has been estimated that this increase could be as much as 600 million Euro per year on top of the current overall trade between the EU and Pakistan which was 8.5 billion Euros per year, with a slight surplus in favour of Pakistan.
But, GSP plus status does not guarantee access of Pakistani products to the EU markets, the high level quality regulatory requirements still have to be fulfilled. If Pakistan fails do so, it will not see any gains from its GSP plus status. There is no shortcut to quality – it is a long and arduous journey of which the National Quality Policy and its implementation are important first steps.
Mr. Esam Al-Qararah, the UNIDO Representative in Pakistan said at the occasion that the UNIDO, as an international agency, has unique experience in NQP development process in at least 9 other countries.
He said that the National Quality Policy is a very important policy document and its impact will be felt across a number of Ministries at the federal and provincial level as well as the private sector. He further said that the NQP will help ensure that goods and services emanating in Pakistan are designed, manufactured and supplied in a manner that match the needs, expectations and formal requirements of the consumers and the authorities in both the local and export markets.
Mr. Martin Kellermann, UNIDO expert, gave an overview of the contents of the draft National Quality Policy, explaining that it consists of two major aspects. Firstly the National Quality Infrastructure, i.e. organizations that provide standards, metrology, accreditation and conformity assessment services have to be re-organized such that they can gain international recognition.
Secondly, Pakistan needs to establish a common Technical Regulation Framework that will be utilized by all federal and provincial regulatory authorities to ensure that technical regulations are effective and that their respective responsibilities are clearly articulated.
The latter would be extremely helpful in establishing a trade-friendly environment without compromising the safety and health of society and the environment through unsafe products. The more than 120 participants were supportive of the fundamental ideas and measures contained in the draft National Quality Policy, but urged the government to do everything possible to ensure its proper and timely implementation.
The recommendations of the Forum will be incorporated into the final draft. The Ministry of Science and Technology will then start the process of getting the draft National Quality Policy submitted to the Cabinet for consideration, approval and implementation. The Implementation Plan for the National Quality Policy is being developed under the leadership of the Ministry for Science and Technology, and this should be completed within the next three month.
As the globalization of markets is rapidly changing with the technological developments, it is creating a big challenge for enterprises in the developing economies in accessing the markets in developed countries.
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