Mr. Aamir Abdullah Zaki, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry while addressing the inaugural session of the PPD organized by International Trade Centre (ITC) in Karachi on 08 April remarked that the Government, private sector and other stakeholders will need to join hands and work collaboratively to address the challenges that are currently being confronted by the kinnow and mango sector in Pakistan, He stated that in this connection the public private dialogue (PPD) mechanism established by the EU funded TRTA II programme is a vital platform playing an active role.
The PPD was jointly organized by ITC and PITAD in collaboration with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Zaki highlighted the problems associated with the kinnow and mango sectors and urged the need for research to address those issues including production of seedless kinnow. He stressed the need to improve infrastructure, quality of produce, improvement in post harvest treatments and transportation. He stated that to every problem that exists there is a solution and hence we should work on this.
Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha Secretary Trade Development Authority of Pakistan highlighted the positive role of PITAD in steering the TRTA II programme. She informed that TDAP is in contact with the Quarantine Department to establish a VHT plant. She praised TRTA II programme for sending kinnow to Fruit Logistica to introduce it as a juice fruit. She said that exports of mango from India has been banned by EU and we may use this as an opportunity to increase our exports or face the same destiny by not reforming and adhering to international standards. She stressed the need to reform to avoid a ban from the EU.
Mr. Sajid Hussain, DG PITAD highlighted his association with TRTA II programme where he conducted eight PPDs in association with ITC. He stated that the usefulness of the PPD mechanism which has contributed to the policies of the government.
Mr. Bruno Valanzuolo Chief Technical Advisor, TRTA II programme highlighted the importance of compliance with Sanitary & Phytosanitary issues and international standards. He stressed that due to non-compliance with these standards, hundreds of consignments of Pakistani mango and citrus are rejected every year. He said that yellow cards are shown to Pakistani exporters for non-compliance which may ultimately result in a red card to ban the exports. He highlighted that this is the time to act and work collectively to avert the impeding ban.
Mr. Mohammad Owais Khan, Programme Officer ITC, welcomed the participants and highlighted the rationale, process and mechanism of the PPD. He highlighted the efforts undertaken under component 1 to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders on international trade issues and the institutionalization of PPD mechanism. He informed that a public private dialogue steering committee has been established with the approval of Ministry of Commerce which steers the process of PPDs and attendant policy research. He urged the stakeholders to come up with their recommendations for policy reform and actively participate in the dialogue so that the real issues are captured and addressed.
More than hundred stakeholders from public sector, private sector civil society and academia participated in the PPD and participated actively in the discussion on the subject. There was a technical session which was chaired and moderated by Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha Secretary TDAP. Panel discussions from public and private sector including Karachi Chamber of Commerce, Sindh Abadgar Board, Department of plant protection, international expert of UNIDO/TRTAII on horticulture etc commented on the findings of the research study which was commissioned by ITC under the TRTA II programme and presented during the session.
The recommendations of the PPD resulted in a policy road map for the Government to consider and potentially implement for addressing the issues faced by the kinnow and mango sector.