ISLAMABAD: In order to enhance exports of Pakistani products and secure market access, the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has issued new policy guidelines to trade missions abroad.
At present there are around 53 trade missions working in 36 countries around the globe, however, offices of the trade minister and commercial councillors are vacant in five important countries, including Afghanistan, Sweden, Russia, Germany and China.
Every trade mission abroad is given the specific targets to help resolve bilateral trade issues, coordinate with the relevant ministries in Pakistan and the host country and make necessary efforts to increase the exports.
Documents of the Ministry of Commerce exclusively available with Customs Today reveal that according to the World Bank’s database, the standard ratio of exports of goods and services to world GDP is 29.6 percent as estimated in 2014; however the ratio of Pakistan’s exports of goods and services to the GDP has been far lower than the prescribed standards.
This ratio has been 13.51 percent, 13.97 percent, 12.40 percent, 13.28 percent and 12.28 percent in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively
Therefore, the Ministry of Commerce has directed trade missions to submit their monthly, quarterly and annual reports on a regular basis. The reports are then evaluated by concerned wings at the Ministry of Commerce / TDAP. Performance of the trade officers posted at the trade mission abroad is under evaluation for 2014-15 as annual reports for the period are being received.
Furthermore, the overall performance of missions is monitored periodically. Ministry of Commerce has recently selected a new hatch of officers on stringent criteria. At the same time, a new performance monitoring criteria is also being put in place.
The documents reveal that Ministry of Commerce has moved announced five major incentives for exports promotion in the proposed Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2015-18
These incentives include technology up-gradation, product development covering, branding and certification, support for gro processing and drawback of local taxes and levies.
Ministry of Commerce is of the view that these initiatives will have significant impact on enhancing exports of the country. The Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2015-18 awaits approval of the Prime Minister.