Pakistan Single Window (PSW) Launches Digital Trade Facilitation with China

Digital Trade Facilitation: Pakistan Launches Electronic Connectivity with China through Single Window System

Pakistan has achieved a notable milestone in streamlining cross-border trade by successfully creating an electronic link between its single window system and China for the exchange of trade data. 

In a conversation with the Express Tribune, Aftab Haider, the CEO of Pakistan Single Window (PSW), articulated the entity’s dedication to enhancing international exports and developing use cases for data sharing with China. 

Haider stated that PSW is staunchly aiding the government and Pakistan Customs in promoting electronic data exchange with collaborating nations, in accordance with international transit and trade agreements. He further outlined their ambitious objective of ranking among the top ten single window systems globally within the coming three years. 

Pakistan pledged to set up a Single Window as part of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in 2017. The initiative’s first phase, aimed at digitizing cross-border trade processes, was initiated in June 2022. PSW, drawing on private sector expertise, is at the forefront of executing this transformative reform. 

Aside from customs, 76 different departments are implicated in various facets of cross-border trade. PSW’s mission is to unify all these departments under a single electronic window, thereby curtailing the time and expense associated with cross-border trade. Following the launch of Pakistan’s Single Window system last year, five departments have been integrated with customs. The system continues to evolve, with new services, features, and modules being consistently incorporated. Most recently, the Marine Fisheries Department was added to facilitate the export of fish and related products. 

PSW is also forging alliances with private sector service providers, integrating pre-shipment inspection entities, laboratories, and fumigation companies into the system to further ease trade across multiple sectors. PSW is committed to reducing costs and timelines, promoting transparency, and ensuring visibility in trade regulations. The organization is also investing in data processing capabilities, seeking to collaborate with renowned firms to establish robust business intelligence and data warehouse facilities for efficacious policy-making and trade facilitation. 

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Moreover, PSW is making strides in expediting the clearance process by sharing data with pertinent departments. This July, the organization is set to launch the Port Community System, uniting all public and private sector stakeholders involved in the port community via a single electronic platform. This system aims to streamline both business-to-government and business-to-business processes, providing exporters with vessel schedules, port traffic visibility, digital payment options, and issuing electronic delivery orders, thereby saving traders both time and money. 

According to the World Bank, the implementation of the single window system is projected to result in savings of approximately $430 million for Pakistan. 

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