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Trade policy for five years suggested

The News - International, Pakistan

Trade policy for five years suggested

By Aftab Maken

26 April 2007

ISLAMABAD: Trade bodies and associations have asked the government to pursue trade policy for at least three to five years and implement it in letter and spirit.

The Ministry should also review and revise the policy with the consultation of all the stakeholders for trade facilitation, said the various heads and representatives of trade associations in a consultative meeting organized by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) for formulating trade policy 2008-09.

Secretary Commerce, Syed Asif Ali Shah speaking at the inaugural session of 58th meeting of the Advisory Council of the Ministry here on Thursday said, “We are working to devise efficient trade policy for the next fiscal year by consulting all the stakeholders.”

He also assured the chambers, associations and trade bodies that their proposals would be taken up with the concerned departments and incorporated in the final draft of the policy for 2008-09.

“It is a consultative process and all the suggestions and proposals forwarded by all stakeholders would be discussed at length with the concerned ministries,” Shah added.

Chairman Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Tariq Ikram presented a detailed briefing on ‘export analysis of textile and other categories’ and compared Pakistani exports with its regional competitors.

He also analysed the exports of core sector like leather, garments, surgical instruments, sports goods, carpet and rugs, leather, leather gloves, leather tanned, leather footwear and rice showed a decreasing trend when compared with the last year.

Besides tabling proposals for the coming trade policy, FPCCI chairman, Tanvir Shiekh lamented that certain projects incorporated in the previous policies of 2005-06 and 2006-07 like establishment of textile cities, IT cities and affluent treatment plants in various cities were initiated but could not be materialize till to date.

Floating some specific proposals for the new policy, Tanvir Sheikh proposed zero rated duty on imported raw material for export oriented top-20 items and slashing the income tax from 6 per cent to 2pc.

Before entering into FTAs and RTAs the government should firstly prepare independent feasibility studies and then initiate the process of signing of FTAs, he suggested.