Ministry of Industries and Production and World Trade Organisation (WTO) cell chief Seema Raza Bokhari said that Pakistan needs to bring its production methods and processes up to world standards to meet the quality standards in international markets, at a seminar on Thursday.
The seminar titled “General Awareness about WTO and Surgical and Sports Industry of Pakistan with respect to Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) Agreement” was held by the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Industries.
Bokhari briefed the participants about WTO and its implications for Pakistan. She said that Pakistan will have to carry out tariff reductions as per the Swiss formula in the Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) Agreement. She said that the proposed implementation timeline is ten years for developing countries following the year NAMA is finalised to provide cushion and policy space for improving competitiveness and productivity of domestic industry.
She highlighted the implications of NAMA for Pakistan’s industry, particularly the sports and surgical sectors in Sialkot. She emphasised that technical standards were a matter of great significance and would be crucial under the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).
The participants expressed concern over current production practises becoming a major impediment for developing countries and said that industrialists need to prepare for the challenges ahead.
President SCCI Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry said that Sialkot has about 7,000 Small and Medium Enterprises that produce exportable products worth of $1.25 billion. He and representatives from the sports and surgical sectors requested strong and committed government support to develop new products, brands and establishment of training institutes. They emphasized that the industry in Sialkot was committed to take up the challenges.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.