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PM okays STPF to achieve $35 billion export target


March 21, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The strategic trade policy framework (STPF) for 2015-18 has been approved by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and it has determined the goal to achieve the enhancement target of  annual exports to $35 billion, besides other momentous benchmarks.

The framework has been choreographed through extensive consultations and detailed input from various departments concerned. Sources in the PM House said here Sunday that the mid-term strategic trade policy framework has been formulated through the extensive consultative process spanning over almost a year. It has been done keeping in view the current trends in global trading environment and the declining trend witnessed in Pakistan’s exports during 2015 due to exogenous shocks coupled with domestic factors, and inelastic import demand.

All the stakeholders in public and private sector, including Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), district chambers, trade associations, private businesses, academia, think tanks, trade missions, ministries/divisions and other government agencies have been actively engaged in formulation of the strategic trade policy framework 2015-18 that culminated with comprehensive deliberations during the advisory council meeting chaired by the Minister for Commerce Engineer Khuram Dastgir Khan, and attended by the stakeholders as well as prominent exporters and public sector decision makers.

The framework will stay in place till the expiry of the term of office of the incumbent government, and it is understood that it would have an impact on the overall performance of the government that would make difference in the polls to follow. For the reason Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked the authorities concerned to ensure achievement of the targets so determined.

The sources said that learning from the previous two medium term frameworks of STPF 2009-12 and STPF 2012-15, it has been ensured that procedural and budgetary bottlenecks are removed in the STPF 2015-18 to achieve the targets of enhancement of annual exports to $35 billion improvement in export competitiveness, transition from factor-driven economy to efficiency-driven and innovation-driven economy and increasing share in regional trade through key enablers of competitiveness, compliance to standards, policy environment and market access.

All business processes have simultaneously been formulated and budgetary allocation of Rs6 billion has been approved to implement the trade policy initiatives for year 2015-16, while continued budgetary support in financial year 2016-17 and 2017-18 has been proposed. Under the STPF 2015-18, a short term export enhancement strategy has also been devised that includes the identification of focus products, focus markets, and market linked focus products. The estimated cost of the short-term export enhancement measures is rupees 450 million for the year 2015-16 and rupees 1450 million for three years of 2015-18. The amount is included in the overall allocation for the strategic policy framework.

The STPF 2015-18 has identified four main pillars ie product sophistication and diversification (research and development, value addition, and branding), market access (enhancing share in existing markets, exploring new markets, trade diplomacy and regionalism), institutional development and strengthening (restructuring, capacity building, and new institutions), and trade facilitation (reducing cost of doing business, standardisation and regulatory measures).

A trade committee (TC), headed by federal minister for commerce has been established which would monitor the implementation of STPF 2015-18, remove bottlenecks, examine issues relating to trade promotion, strengthen international competitiveness and presenting Annual STPF implementation report to cabinet committee on production & exports as well as federal export development & promotion board (FEDPB).



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