Islamabad: The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) to 2025 to improve the country’s trade competitiveness and ensure the geographic and product diversification of local trade.
The STPF 2020-25 aimed to enhance the ability of Pakistani enterprises’ capacity to produce, distribute and sell products and services more efficiently than our competitors, said a press release issued by Ministry of Commerce here.
Priority sectors have been identified under the STPF after studying the international demand trends on one hand and on the other the capacity and capabilities of various traditional and developmental export sectors of Pakistan.
The former includes textiles and clothing, leather, surgical instruments, sporting goods, carpets, rice and tableware.
The developing export sector includes engineered products (including auto parts), pharmaceuticals, marble and minerals, processed food and beverages, footwear, gems and jewelry, meat and poultry, and chemicals.
The main focus of STPF will be on geographical and product diversification, manufacturing cost reduction through tariff rationalisation, pursuit of regional connectivity including Look Africa and Silk Route Reconnect policies, and enhancement of market access through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs).
It also includes facilitation of logistics and tracking under the International Road Transports (TIR) Convention and enhancement of regional connectivity for access to Central Asian Republics, Turkey and Iran, through them to Europe and Russia.
The STPF is dynamic in nature and it will be subject to course correction based on constant monitoring and evaluation.
There shall be an institutionalized mechanism for robust monitoring and implementation of the STPF in order to minimize policy implementation gaps, which have traditionally remained a weak link due to multi-organizational roles in the export ecosystem.
To monitor implementation, a cross-functional National Export Development Board (NEDB) has been established, chaired by the Prime Minister, and composed of senior public sector officials and private sector representatives from related organizations.
The China Development Bank holds regular meetings to ensure the implementation of various policies and measures.