Poverty alleviation through export-led growth: Pakistan should develop institutional capacity: EU envoy

ISLAMABAD (September 29 2010): Pakistan must develop institutional capacity for poverty alleviation through export-led growth to achieve the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme objectives for its integration into global economy and developing broad-based multilateral trading system necessary to address the grey areas, signifying a positive trade poverty-nexus in development process.

This was stated by Jan DE KOK Ambassador EU to Pakistan in his introductory remarks at a workshop arranged by the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with EU here on Tuesday, adding that the country will be provided necessary support in trade related issues.The government in collaboration with EU and UNIDO launched Euro 10,045,000 Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme with Euro 9, 54,000 European Unions assistance and Euro 500, 000 contribution of UNIDO.

Pakistan export development strategy is based on the need to increase both the volume and value of exports through product diversification adding to value chain by building capacity and enhancing exporter capability. TRTA I supported by the EU (2004-2007) addressed some of these needs by building awareness of and capacity for WTO participation in accreditation standardisation, certification, testing and strengthening the Intellectual Property of the Organisation.

The main components of TRTA II launched today are: trade policy capacity building; export development through improvement of quality infrastructure and strengthening of intellectual property rights system.

Mohammad Owais, Deputy Director, Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development in his presentation on Trade Policy Capacity Building said that the pre-requisite for coherent trade policy is regulatory reforms for export competitiveness for which strong expertise of policy makers in line with trading system and research capacity responsiveness to policy are essential components. He stressed upon understanding of commercial dynamics as well as business implications.

Counting weaknesses, he underlines the need of understanding multilateral trade regime, WTO laws and service training structure of individual vs institution along with mechanism for stakeholder consultations. Comprehensive monitoring and evolution strategy is needed for effective implementation, he added.

Jean Sebastien Roure, Advisor on Legal Aspect on Trade (ITC) stressed upon public-private dialogue for a coherent national export strategy along with assessment of equipments needed to check standard and quality of a commodity. He also asked for specialised training programme to acquaint the policy makers with global base practices.

He further said that the most important aspect is conducting of research studies at grass root level contributing to the development of national export strategy, adding that in the present circumstances the security aspects should also be kept in view.

Chaudhry Walayat Khan, Deputy Director General of NAPHIS in his paper on establishment of functional sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) compliance system said that as member of WTO we have to follow SPS compliance system. There is a need for focusing on national animal and plant health protection services, he said, adding that food security is vital for healthy life. It is often seen that food safety and quality standards are not met, he added.

All these factors add to frequent rejection of agriculture export consignments, he observed. It is necessary to built capacity of federal and provincial agriculture labs for international accreditation. “We have to ensure food safety standard for batter trade in agriculture produce,” he concluded.

The programme should be considered within the contest of government strategy as articulated in the poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) finalised in 2004. The strategy outlines the comprehensive policy framework for continued growth and development, improving governance and consolidating devolution, investing in human capital and delivery of basic social services targeting the poor segment of the society, the TRTA-II programme draft document said – Brecorder