PM directs formulation of trade policies to boost exports, business sector

Sharif has mandated the development of new trade policies aimed at bolstering the business sector and increasing competitiveness of Pakistani exports

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday directed the authorities concerned to formulate the trade policies with a core objective of facilitating the business sector, calling for urgent measures to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s exports.

The prime minister, chairing a meeting on the trade sector, called for steps to promote exports of non-traditional goods and instructed for immediate payment of the certified duty drawback of the exporters.

Highlighting the significance of the private sector, he instructed to ensure consultation with them during the policy-making and implement the deletion policy to uplift the auto sector.

Shehbaz directed the relevant ministry to devise a comprehensive strategy to scrutinize the performance of trade and investment officers posted in Pakistan’s missions abroad, by rewarding the good performers and removing the incompetent ones.

The prime minister told the meeting that he would personally carry out the fortnightly review of the export sectors.

In the meeting, the prime minister was told that the discussion on the Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and the Gulf states was in the final stage and transit trade agreements with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan had already been materialized.

It was told that during the recent Pak-Saudi Business Conference, around 450 business-to-business meetings were held and that the volume of e-commerce trade was witnessing a constant increase with the enlisting of over 3,000 firms on the Pakistan Trade Portal.

The meeting was also apprised of the strict monitoring of Afghan Transit Trade, double-digit premium growth of public sector insurance companies, finalising Gem Export Framework, and in-principle approval by Pakistan and Russia to operationalise the barter trade.

It was told that consultation with the stakeholders was in progress on Preferential Trade Agreements with Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, as well as on the New Strategic Trade Policy. Moreover, necessary legislation was also being made to establish the Technology and Innovation Fund for industrial development.

Federal ministers Jam Kamal Khan, Muhammad Aurangzeb, Dr Musaddik Malik, Ahad Khan Cheema, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Jahanzeb Khan, State Bank governor and relevant senior officers attended the meeting.


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