Mr. David Ryan Sequeria, Second Secretary (EconomicOfficer) of the Embassy of US and Mr. Nasir Hamid Rao, Economic Advisor of the Embassy of the US called on Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development on 13th April, 2016 to discuss the trade opportunities for exporters of Pakistan in the US markets.
Mr. Sequeria briefed that like EU GSP plus status, USA also offers preferential treatments to most of the countries wherein Pakistan is also one of the beneficiaries. He further highlighted that nearly 5000 products from Pakistan are in the list of US GSP scheme; however, Pakistani exporters are unable to reap to fruits of this scheme because most of the exporters are unaware of the preferential treatment which US GSP scheme offers.
He apprised PITAD that US urges to foster bilateral trade relations with Pakistan and hence Pakistan has been included in the list of US GSP scheme among the other countries. He further highlighted the reason for this meeting was to get to know the facilitation which PITAD can provide to the US to sensitize the exporters regarding the unexploited opportunities in their exports to US.MsFauziaPerveen, Director (Training), responded that under TRTA-II, PITAD had conducted certain awareness seminars on GSP-Plus in various chambers of commerce in major cities of the country.
Responding the discussion of Mr. Sequeria, Mr. Afridi said that PITAD can facilitate the US on the same lines as we facilitated the EU in connection with their GSP Plus status. Shedding light on the options, Mr. Afridi said that, PITAD can organize seminars, workshops and trainings to sensitize the exporters regarding the US GSP scheme.
Mr. Afridi suggested that in addition to the aforesaid options, a study should be conducted in which the reasons should be mentioned why exporters are not exploiting the full benefits of the US GSP scheme. He also stressed that, in collaboration with US, a workshop be conducted to educate the exporters regarding the entire process of the exports to US and also how to combat the Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs) imposed by the US.
Mr. Fawad Hassan, Deputy Director asked about the funding mechanism for the activities which US wants PITAD to do. Responding to the question, Mr. Sequeria said that the funding mechanism has not been finalized yet, however, the same would be communicated after its finalization.
Mr. Hassan also asked that is there any component in the US GSP scheme which could enhance the capacity of the exporters of Pakistan to which Mr. Sequeria replied in negative and said that there are other US programs for such capacity building, however, US GSP scheme does not cover any such provision.
Mr. Afridi also suggested that US should also assist Pakistan by investing in the areas wherein Pakistan has comparative advantage e.g., Precious and semi precious stones, Mangos, Dates, leather, rice, textile etc. He further added that US should work in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) enabling Pakistan to expand the product line of nearly 5000 products which are in the list of US GSP scheme.
Mr. Sequeria appreciated the suggestions by Mr. Afridi and assured that he would transmit the same to the high-up for consideration. Mr. Afridi, also assured, Mr.Sequeriathe findings of this meeting would be sent to MoC for their consideration