The European Union is funding Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme designed to expand the export performance of Pakistan and its integration into the global trade and economy. The implementation of the programme is managed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the specific component activities on trade policy capacity building are executed by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The Public Private Dialogue Steering Committee (PPDSC) established under the EU funded TRTA II programme met on 13 April 2011 for its first meeting in the Ministry of Commerce. The Committee has been established with the objective to steer the process of public private consultation on issues related to trade policy and regulatory reform, to commission a number of research studies to feed into the dialogue and to propose well informed policy options to the Government. The Committee is co-chaired by Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce and Director General Pakistan Institute (PITAD) of Trade and Development with equal representation from public and private sectors.
Recently, the Government of Pakistan decided to reinvigorate the Federal Export Promotion and Development Board and declared 2011 as the year of exports. Ministry of Commerce recognized that there is a potential for the TRTA II interventions to complement the government initiatives to achieve the desired results.
The participants hailed the process of Public Private Dialogues (PPDs) and stressed the need for a greater participation of all the stakeholders in the process. The Director General of PITAD underscored that the process of dialogue, although weak, is present in one form or another but there is a need to refine the process and make it systematic according to international standards as envisaged in the programme. He commented that “research based policy inputs and participatory approach in the process of trade policy can put the country back on track of development”.
The Committee recommended Services Sector and Regional Integration for holding PPDs during 2011 besides the selection of Executive Committee of the PPDSC. The mandate of the Executive Committee would be to decide research studies to explore the feasibility of alternative policy choices related to the selected sectors and to decide on matters when the PPDSC is not in session.