STPF 2015-18: Trade policy in the offing, says Dastgir

After incorporating recommendations, draft to be submitted to federal cabinet.

Peer Muhammad July 15, 2015
Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir said that the new policy contains incentive packages for exporters who employ new techniques and machinery to their production methods. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir has said that the draft of Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2015-18 is in its final stages of completion and will be presented to the sub-committee of the cabinet for further deliberation shortly.

After incorporating the recommendations of the sub-committee, the draft will be submitted before the federal cabinet for final approval.

The minister was chairing a meeting to review the STPF 2015-18. He said that the new policy contains incentive packages for exporters who employ new techniques and machinery to their production methods.

The prime minister has constituted a sub-committee of the cabinet on production and exports to finalise annual targets and plans for all economic ministries.

The 11-member sub-committee will be headed by the finance minister and comprises minister for commerce, minister for industries and production, minister for national food security and research, minister for textile industry, minister for planning, development and reform, parliamentary secretary for finance and the parliamentary secretaries of these ministries.

Earlier, Dastgir had said that the government is set to announce the three-year draft trade policy soon after Eid holidays and has set the export target at $40 billion, which would be gradually increased to $50 billion.

Meanwhile, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) Horticulture and Agriculture Products Committee Chairman Ahmad Jawad said that there is a crucial need of a comprehensive public-private dialogue (PPD) to be initiated by the Ministry of Commerce before announcing the trade policy.

Jawad said public-private dialogue creates a foundation for market-friendly policies that deepen economic reform and enhance national competitiveness. He added that due to past policies of the ministry, the country’s horticulture exports are on the verge of destruction and if the government did not announce any incentives for the exporting sector, it would begin protests.

He said that due to wrong policies, Pakistan’s horticulture sector could not compete in the international markets.

Jawad called upon the government to come forward and cooperate with the private sector in product and market diversification and value addition of exportable products to realise the country’s actual export potential.

He mentioned that Pakistan has missed its export targets for the third consecutive year which should be a cause of concern.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th,  2015.

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