Pakistan

ECC defers approval of new five-year trade policy for third time

ECC trade policy

The ECC of the Cabinet has deferred the approval of the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) for 2020-25 for the third time.

A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet took place through a video link under the Chairmanship of the Federal Minister for Finance, Shaukat Tarin. The Ministry of Commerce put up a summary of the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) for 2020-25 to increase the export competitiveness of the country through the framework of policy interventions.

This policy framework includes a monitoring and implementation mechanism while the underlying rationale is to increase exports as a national through collaborative and cohesive efforts. The ECC however deferred the approval of this trade policy.

Read more: Look Africa Campaign: Pakistan’s trade with Africa reached $4.18 billion in 2019-20

The Ministry of Commerce had proposed three scenarios such as no major change in competitiveness, improvement in competitiveness, and further improve competitiveness about setting export targets during the period from 2020 to 2025.

The MoC proposed a $29.10 billion export target under the third scenario for the fiscal year 2021-22, $32.98 billion for the fiscal year 2022-23, $36.26 billion for the financial year 2023-24, and $40.27 billion in the fiscal year 2024-25.  

The ministry has also proposed an Rs 76.72 billion finance outlay of a five-year proposed Strategic Trade Policy Framework which consists of competitive enhancement, integration into the global value chain, and export ecosystem.  

The Finance Minister directed the ministry to incorporate all the factors pertaining to market-based realistic exchange rates under the proposed policy. The inclusion of specific measures for encouraging Foreign Direct Investment and consolidation of the fragmented export industry in the country.   

After the long discussion, the committee decided to review the draft of the concerned policy after having another consultative meeting with all concerned stakeholders and put up an updated policy framework before the next ECC meeting for approval.

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