The closing event of Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) Program was held on 19th April, 2016 at Islamabad. (TRTA-II) Program implemented by the European Union (EU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce has concluded. The first TRTA Programme was implemented by International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with Ministry of Commerce. The aim of the said program was to reduce poverty, sustainable development and aligning Pakistan with the multilateral trading system.
Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan in his remarks at the occasion said that the program yielded positive results for the Pakistani business and trade community through its interventions and provided the much needed knowledge, skills and machinery to the aspiring sectors. He apprised the participants that the incentives offered to manufacturers and exporters in the recently approved Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2015-18 are intended to introduce international best practices raise the standards of products, technology up-gradation, acquire internationally recognised certifications and creation of brands.
He said that the Ministry of Commerce is of the firm view that for Pakistan trade can become an engine of growth and route to prosperity. The Minister expressed his hope that such technical assistance programme will continue to support the small and medium sectors of Pakistan in the future as well.
TRTA Programme has supported economic integration of Pakistan into the global and regional economy and stimulated decent work and employment creation by creating enabling environment. The senior management from the International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) headquarter participated in the event and assured the cooperation of their respective organisations for the trade development of Pakistan. The stakeholders from public and private sector participated in the event and appreciated the interventions and outcomes of the TRTA-II Programme.
Addressing at the closing event of the TRTA II programme, Azmat Ali Ranjha, Secretary Commerce appreciated the work done by the ITC for trade policy formulation and strengthening of attached departments of Ministry of Commerce like Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development and Trade Dispute Resolution Organisation (TDRO). The TDRO Law is very important for swift, efficient and cost effective settlement of disputes. He appreciated the technical assistance provided by TRTA-II program for TDRO draft law.
He stated that the programme has supported different initiatives of trade policy which are contributing in improving trade governance. The programme has supported in improving standard compliance, promotion of intellectual property rights and good agricultural practices. The Secretary hoped that EU would come up with a new programme to add on the achievements of the TRTA-II Programme.
The Ambassador of the European Union Delegation, Jean Francois Cautain highlighted the importance of trade for Pakistan's economy and assured the support of the EU in trade development of Pakistan. He informed that EU would continue to support Pakistani business community so that they can take full advantage of EU GSP Plus. He appreciated the programme's interventions in strengthening institutions which are related to trade and development.
In a panel discussion, Mr. Umar Dad Afridi, Director, represented PITAD and appraised the benefits PITAD reaped from the component 1 of the TRTA II program. He further appreciated the mechanism of Public Private Dialogue which corroborated in formulating the National Export Strategy in coherence with the mission statement of Ministry of Commerce.