Pakistan needs to enhance its productive capacity and compliance with certification to get benefit from the EU GSP Plus Scheme

DSC_0433The public private dialogue mechanism established by Ministry of Commerce with the assistance of International Trade Centre (ITC) under European Union funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme is a good start for participatory formulation, implementation and monitoring of trade policies, said Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Engr. Sohail Lashari.

Addressing the inaugural session of The Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on ‘Enhancing Competitiveness and Export Potential of Textile and Leather Garments’, Mr. Lashari urged the need to develop productive capacity through addressing the issues hindering the development of the sector. He underscored the need for joint thinking process by the government and private sector to reap benefits from some recent developments including the grant of GSP plus status granted to Pakistan by the EU.

The PPD was organised by the ITC and PITAD under the EU funded TRTA II Programme on 21 January 2014 in Lahore.

The LCCI President pointed out that action-oriented agenda needs to be developed and followed. He highlighted the issues which are faced by the business community which needs to be addressed through policy reform.

DSC_0477Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, while addressing the PPD, informed about the efforts of government to provide conducive business environment through favourable policies. He highlighted the achievement of EU’s GSP Plus status as a milestone achievement of the government. He appreciated ITC and PITAD for holding the PPD and the previous research work including on EU’s GSP Plus and other market access initiatives. He urged the need for development of research and development facilities to enhance competitiveness and to develop demand based products.

Ms Roshan Ara, Development Adviser at EU Delegation to Pakistan highlighted the recent grant of EU GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the European parliament which came into force from January 2014. She stressed that Pakistan needs to enhance its productive capacity and compliance with certification and other requirements to truly benefit from the scheme. She informed about the sectoral support which the EU has been providing under the TRTA II programme and the resumption of fisheries exports to EU.

DSC_0441Director General of PITAD, Mr. Sajid Hussain and ITC representative, Mohammad Owais Khan, explained the TRTA II 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 Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken which was informed by an internationally peer reviewed research study conducted by Dr Syed Kausar Ali Zaidi, under guidance of ITC. Panel discussants from private sector including Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, LCCI and Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers association explained the issues and possible recommendations for the sectors. Representatives from Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Textile Industry, TDAP, and PITAD informed about the government initiatives to promote the sectors and how private sector can play its role. Prof. Naved Hamid also discussed the sector in detail and highlighted the joint actions which the government and private sector should take together to develop the sector and to enhance exports to EU following the grant of GSP Plus status.