Services Sector Export Development Strategy for Pakistan

The First Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on Services Sector Export Development Strategy for Pakistan took place in Islamabad on 27 October 2011 within the framework of the EU-funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme. Over 120 participants from public and private sectors as well as civil society attended the seminar. This PPD aims at defining policy recommendations on domestic regulatory reform for the development of services trade in Pakistan.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Pierre Mayaudon, Acting Ambassador of the European Union toPakistan, emphasized that the EU was standing byPakistanside in its endeavors to develop its services sector, both at home and abroad. To translate this commitment into practical terms, the Euros10 Million TRTA II programme allows promoting trade policy capacity building.

As reflected during the dialogue, focus has been put within the service sector on three areas: Transport services, Computer related services and Professional services. These are critical areas where accessing international standards in a competitive regional environment is key to sustaining the economic growth ofPakistan.

The Additional Secretary Commerce, Mr. Shahid Rahim Sheikh, commended the initiative of the TRTA II programme and expressed the desire and willingness of the Ministry of Commerce to include the development and promotion of Trade in Services in the focus areas of the Ministry. He maintained that after the devolution of various federal government ministries dealing with services, there is need to augment services trade and develop concrete policies and institutional mechanism for services sector promotion and exports.

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 services sectors and possible policy reform to overcome them.

The TRTA II programme is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).