Trade Policy approved in principle

Islamabad: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has approved Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-2015 and directed the Ministry of Commerce to present it for final confirmation of the Cabinet.

The approval was made after detailed and comprehensive discussions in a high level meeting which was attended by Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafiz Sheikh, Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Minister for Textile Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din, Minister of State for Commerce Abbas Khan Afridi, Minister of State for Finance Saleem H. Mandviwalla, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, Governor of State Bank Yasin Anwer, and senior officials of the Ministries of Finance, Economic Affairs, Commerce, Textile, Industries, Planning, Information Technology, Food Security, Interior and Pakistan Tariff Commission.

The Prime Minister also approved a budget allocation of Rs. 5 billion for Ministry of Commerce. He also directed the Finance Division to submit a summary to the Cabinet for streamlining Export Development Funds so that its proceeds could be utilized for promotion of exports.

The meeting was informed that the total Halal Food Market in the world was estimated to be 1 trillion dollars, which can be tapped for increasing exports. It was further informed that Gold Sach’s had identified Pakistan as one of eleven emerging economies in the world.

The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the approval of policy would encourage our exporters to achieve export target set in Trade Policy.

He reaffirmed that that the government was committed to support, facilitate and encourage exporters so that exports could be boosted.

Salient features of the Policy comprise Institutional Interventions, Export Development Initiatives and Regulatory Amendments.

The policy envisages mark-up support for future import and purchase of machinery and export finance scheme for selected export sectors, ad hoc relief at 3%of FOB to offset the impact of high cost of utilities in selected sectors and establishment of Exim Bank, Land Port Authority and Leather Export Promotion Council.

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