Speaking at a 6th Public Private Dialogue (PPD) in Islamabad, the acting Ambassador of European Union to Pakistan, Mr. Pierre Mayaudon, commended the process of PPD established under the EU funded Trade programme i.e. TRTA II. He highlighted the recent grant of EU GSP plus status to Pakistan by the EU which will come into force on 01 January 2014. He informed that 90 % of the tariff lines are included in the scheme for which the Pakistani exporters will face no import duties and no quotas. He however, stressed that Pakistan needs to enhance its productive capacity and compliance with certification and other requirements to truly benefit from the scheme. He highlighted the Autonomous trade preference granted by EU to Pakistan in the aftermath of devastating floods of 2010 and 2011, but noted that Pakistani exporters, including SMEs, could not fully benefit from that preference due to energy shortages. He highlighted EU assistance in different areas and invited all stakeholders to look into the opportunities offered by the new Innovation program Horizon 2020.
The Ministry of Commerce is focusing on development of an export development roadmap for pharmaceutical and Surgical Instruments sector to enhance exports; stated Secretary Commerce Mr. Qasim Niaz while addressing the inaugural session of the public private dialogue (PPD) on technology up-gradation and foresight in surgical instruments and pharmaceutical sectors. The Secretary Commerce appreciated the EU trade related technical assistance and the role of ITC for institutionalizing the PPD process for developing policies for different sectors of economy. He stressed the need for value addition and export enhancement in Pharma and surgical sectors as both the sectors hold a lot of promise in diversification of Pakistan exports and are also the focus of Ministry of Commerce trade policy interventions.
The PPD was informed by an internationally peer reviewed research policy. The Secretary Commerce appreciated the findings of the study and informed that the Ministry is mindful of the issues that the two sectors are facing. He however, highlighted that the government is taking a lot of steps to address the energy issues of all industries. He emphasized the development of skilled and trained labor force through active public and private sector collaboration. He highlighted the significance of R&D in developing any industry particularly pharma and surgical instruments in addition to adoption good production procedures.
Director General PITAD, Mr. Sajid Hussain and ITC representative Mr. Mohammad Owais Khan explained the TRTAII programme, the process of PPDs and the success achieved so far under the programme. PITAD which represents Ministry of Commerce for technical assistance programmes pledged more such dialogues together with ITC in future to document the issues faced by business community in different sectors and to address them through policy initiatives and reform.
The technical session was chaired by Dr. Idrees Khawaja from PIDE. Dr. Ather Osama presented the research study which was conducted for the purpose. Panel discussants from private sector including Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association of Pakistan, Surgical Instruments Association, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce explained the issues and possible recommendations for the sectors. Representatives from Ministry of Commerce, Drug Regulatory Authority and Pakistan Council of Science and Technology informed about the government initiatives to promote the two sectors.
Open house discussions among the invited participants also took place in which representative of Federal Government Ministries, implementing agencies, provincial departments, Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, individual firms, independent research organizations and Academia discussed the issues being faced by the selected sectors and possible policy reform to overcome them. The public private dialogue will result into concrete policy roadmap for the development of productivity, value addition and export competitiveness in the two sectors.
The PPD was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and PITAD under the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme at Islamabad. The TRTA II programme is funded by the EU and implemented by ITC, UNIDO and WIPO.