Regional trade facilitation

Regional trade facilitation

Under the directives of the Prime Minister, the cumbersome regulatory framework of foreign trade shall be simplified. A draft bill shall be tabled in the parliament to establish single window trade facility by 2022 to fast track cross border trade as per the provisions of World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime of free trade. The legislation will also pave the way for boosting exports and streamlining the production of imports’ substitution in the country.

The quantum of trade with Afghanistan has declined due to tariff and non-tariff barriers, high prices of exportable products, comparatively inferior quality as compared with other competing countries and lack of product innovation. Afghanistan has now linked the signing of free trade agreement with providing transit for its trade with India via Wagha border. The quantum of exports to Iran could not grow in addition to these impediments due to the non-existence of branches of Pakistani commercial banks in Iran. The exporters find it difficult to open letter of credit for boosting cross border trade with Iran.

Trading partners in Africa and Latin America has imposed ban on rice imported from Pakistan. The rice cargo could not be downloaded in Kenya last year. A few years ago years Mexico had banned the import of rice from Pakistan. Such decisions of trading partners impact the export of rice to countries of the region. The piling up of exportable surplus takes a toll on production of rice within the country. Proper grading and producing high quality rice can help remove this bottleneck in increasing exports both to countries of the region, European Union, the United States and Latin American states. Better terms of trade can be negotiated at government to government level to fetch high value for exports.

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