Pakistan partners with USAID to streamline trade and customs procedures

KARACHI: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue partnered to host a two-day conference on the establishment of a National Single Window (NSW) for trade. The NSW will allow parties involved in trade and transport to file standardised information and documents at a single-entry point for all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements.

The conference, which was held in Islamabad today, brought together more than 100 government officials from key trade regulators to better understand the challenges involved in institutionalising Pakistan’s National Single Window for trade.

While speaking at the conference, the Minister of State for Finance, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan said, “The National Single Window Initiative is one of the most critical reform efforts initiated in the trade-related public sector.” He added, “This system has the capacity to transform and modernise traditional ways of doing business by introducing various trade-related processes and procedures in an automated, paperless environment leading to significant savings to Pakistan’s trade in terms of time and costs. This development will have a positive impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector regulatory bodies.”

Around the world, bureaucratic processes that burden traders deter business and discourage exports.  A National Single Window will expedite the process of cross-border trade, enabling businesses to expand their operations and the government to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.

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While delivering remarks at the conference, USAID Acting Mission Director Helen Pataki said, “For Pakistan, boosting exports and enhancing the competitiveness of Pakistani industries is integral to overcoming the current trade imbalance.  By making trade simpler, the National Single Window will unlock Pakistan’s economy.”

Development of the National Single Window for trade in Pakistan will be phased in over a span of four years. The National Single Window is only one component of USAID’s enduring efforts to support Pakistan’s economic growth by enabling private sector investment, promoting a vibrant agricultural sector, fostering a strong business enabling environment, and expanding trade opportunities.

USAID’s Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity is a five-year initiative that aims to improve the development of Pakistan’s trade sector. The public-private dialogue forum supports the United States’ objectives to improve Pakistan’s trade environment by building the institutional and human resource capacity of both public and private stakeholders.

USAID’s Training for Pakistan Activity is a multi-year initiative aimed at providing training in the areas of education, energy, economic growth, agriculture, health, stabilization, and governance in line with development objectives of the Government of Pakistan.

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