“The launching of donor coordination forum for trade and development by the Government of Pakistan under the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) is first step for both GoP and the donors to be able to efficiently synchronize the resources which are allocated for the trade development in Pakistan” said Mr. Tahir Maqsood DG, PITAD. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Munir Qureshi Secretary MoC said that “Donors have generously supported the Ministry of Commerce (MoC), different agencies in the Government of Pakistan and other stakeholders with analysis on trade issues along with development of synergies and/or recommendation on mechanism how to cope with those and emerging issues”. He appreciated International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) for their commitment to support the trade facilitation for Pakistani exporters at Wagha border and other Trade Policy initiatives. Further, he said that there is already a certain level of realization for a coordinated support to GOP; all new country strategies and programme documents ,for instance from EU, World Bank, ADB, and USAID etc, contain a short analysis of relevant donor activities in the country which in itself provides a good start for improving donor coordination in practice. He said that building on this, creation of first ever Donor Coordination Forum under the umbrella of MoC is aimed at developing a mechanism through meetings and sub groups formation to streamline knowledge sharing among the development partners about their activities not only to help avoid overlaps but to more intrinsically promote coordination and meaningful collaboration in economic development process of Pakistan. Dr. Kausar Ali Zaidi, Director PITAD explained that to whole the working sessions of the forum focal points from donor agencies need to be appointed for consistency and effective role of sub groups that could be constituted in due course of forum sessions.
The creation of forum is an outcome of the initiative undertaken by the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) Programme, funded by the EU, implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in association with International Trade Centre (ITC) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is being run in cooperation with the government of Pakistan, through its various organisations, to provide support to Pakistan in building its capacity to address trade related issues thereby fostering its integration into the world economy and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Mr. Berend De Groot, Head of Operation, EU Delegation to Pakistan emphasized that the launch of this forum indicates that government of Pakistan values much the contribution of donors and now the task is to make this forum effectively useful by setting precise agenda, themes and focused meetings.
Presentations by the donor agencies on their trade related projects were given by Asian Development Bank (ADB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The World Bank (WB), International Labour Organization (ILO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Australian Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP), AUSAID, International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), French Development Agency (AFD), Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Representatives of Economic Affairs Division, Development Adviser EU Delegation to Pakistan and TRTA II programme experts also participated in the first donor coordination meeting on Trade & Development.