Pakistani trade officials are trained on investment

23 November 2012
ITC News
Better investment policies are essential for the economic development of Pakistan.

That was the message from Mr. Tahir Maqsood, Director General of the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD), speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day training course on “Trade and Investment” held on 10 and 11 November at PITAD in Islamabad. The purpose of the training was to develop the capacity of 25 officials working in various ministries and government implementing agencies on investment management, investment regulations and dispute settlement in investment treaties.

The training was organized through the ITC implemented trade-policy capacity building component of a EUR 10 million project, funded by the European Union, to increase Pakistan’s trade capacity. The course was jointly conducted by ITC and PITAD, with technical assistance from the Switzerland-based World Trade Institute (WTI).

At an age when much of international trade takes place within the supply chains of multinationals, trade and investment are more interlinked than ever, and effective trade policy implementation requires familiarity with investment policies and trends, said Andrew Huelin, who oversees the project at ITC.

The training focused on the law and policy of investment, the scope and standards of international investment agreements, and different levels of international investment regulations. Particular attention was given to analysing the dispute settlement mechanism and Pakistan’s experience in this area. The course will enable participants to effectively contribute to government policies, investment management and bilateral investment treaties of Pakistan.
Benefits to policymaking

One of the participants, Mr. Fawad Hassan, Assistant Director of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) said: “This was a fitting training course at a very appropriate time when officers need training on trade and investment. The work of PITAD and ITC will contribute significantly to building the capacity of officers.” Ms Saima Azhar, Assistant Director of TDAP in Karachi said: “The training course enabled me to better understand trade related aspects of investment. It will positively contribute to the economic development of Pakistan through export led growth.” Syed Abbas Mehdi, of the Ministry of Textile Industry, said: “This programme is of such importance that its content must be transformed into standard operating procedures and checklists for every department linked with drafting or negotiating any kind of trade and investment agreement or treaty.”

The training was delivered by Mr. Shahzad Ahmad Khan from the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, and Professor Anthony Van Duzer from WTI, through video conference.

The ITC implemented component of the Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) II project seeks to build the capacity of government officials working in various ministries and departments on trade policy and negotiations, ensuring sustainability through building local capacity and providing excellence in trade policy training.