Commerce Ministry fails to introduce Strategic Trade Policy Framework

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The Commerce Ministry has failed to introduce much-delayed Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STFP) that could help devise a strategy to enhance exports and curtail imports, said Standing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s former chairman Ahmad Jawad.
Talking to media on Thursday, Jawad said the previous policy had expired on June 2015, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had already rejected the draft of STFP and directed the Commerce Ministry to formulate a new policy that should include measures designed to give a quantum jump to declining exports.
He said, “There is a crucial need for holding a comprehensive public-private dialogue (PPD) and the ministry is set to initiate it for effective STFP. Public-private dialogue creates a foundation for market-friendly policies that deepen economic reforms and enhance national competitiveness.”
Jawad said that due to past policies, the country’s horticulture exports were on the verge of destruction and if the government did not announce any incentives for this sector, ultimately it would begin protests. Yet, Pakistan’s horticulture sector could not compete in the international markets.”
He said the government must give push to the horticulture sector to support the country’s declining exports. “As Pakistan has an immense potential, horticulture exports could grow to iconic proportions and touch as high as $7 billion in the next coming years if Research and Development (R&D) is vigorously pursued and required infrastructure is established,” he added.
“Currently world horticulture trade is more than $ 80 billion in which Pakistan’s share is too meager. Pakistani fruits and vegetables have great export potential but it needs to be harnessed to capture hungry world markets where Pakistani mangoes, dates and kino as well as halal meat are in great demand,” said Jawad.
He further said that the only way to capture the global market was to process, add value and improve the shelf life of the perishable commodities to benefit small farmers and the country.

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