Services sector export development strategy for Pakistan discussed during ITC organized public private dialogue (PPD)

21 November 2011
ITC News

The first PPD on Services Sector Export Development Strategy for Pakistan took place in Islamabad on 27 October 2011 within the framework of the European Union (EU) funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme. Over 120 participants from public and private sectors as well as civil society attended the event.

ThePPD aimed at defining policy recommendations on domestic regulatory reform for the development of services trade in Pakistan, with particular focus on improving trade in 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 of Pakistan.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Pierre Mayaudon, Acting Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, emphasized that the EU was standing by Pakistan’s side in its endeavors to develop its services sector, both at home and abroad. To translate this commitment into practical terms he pointed to the 10 Million EUR commitment to the TRTA II program which allows for promoting trade policy capacity building.

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 focus attention on the development and promotion of Trade in Services. 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 mechanisms for services sector promotion and exports.

Open house discussions among the invited participants also took place in which representatives of federal government ministries, implementing agencies, provincial government 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 public private dialogue initiative is part of ITC’s efforts to promote a more comprehensive, regular and well informed public private dialogue among government, the private sector and civil society as a basis for trade policy developments and interventions.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).