ISLAMABAD, 19 April 2016 - A EUR 12 million programme funded by the European Union and implemented in the course of the last six years by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in cooperation with the International Trade Centre and the World Intellectual Property Organization, has offered support to government institutions in Pakistan, as well as to private sector entrepreneurs in improving business competitiveness, and business and trade practices, including through the establishment of laboratories with accreditation procedures.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Trade Related Technical Assistance II (TRTA) programme, the Minister of Commerce, Khurram Dastigir Khan, commended the contributions made by UNIDO to the enhancement of trade and improvement of competitiveness in selected agro and industrial sectors, including those dealing with the production of electric fans, cutlery, surgical instruments, protective gears, as well as fisheries, and kinnow and mango fruits.
The programme resulted in a substantial increase in export revenues, improved business performance in terms of productivity, quality, helped advance corporate social responsibility, and market linkages. It also helped develop regulations in such fields as food safety, quality, and competitiveness, and contributed to resolving trade disputes.
It is estimated that a total of 50 public departments, 200 private businesses and some 500,000 individuals benefited from the programme which resulted in the increase of income and exports, and the overall improvement of the business environment.
It was also noted that, thanks to the TRTA programme, Pakistan now has capacity for trade policy training and advice, a national quality policy, an accreditation body, as well as more than 40 product-testing and metrology laboratories that verify compliance with international standards. A bill for the establishment of a National Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health Regulatory Authority has been recently approved by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and is ready for submission to the Parliament for enactment. TRTA also strengthened the intellectual property regime in Pakistan by strengthening the legislative and policy framework.
The Minister of Commerce said that export-led growth was essential for developing employment opportunities for young people joining the labor market every year.
The EU Ambassador to Pakistan, Jean François Cautain, highlighted the fact that the programme supported Pakistani companies and institutions in attaining compliance with international standards, which is essential to the country’s relationship with its international trading partners. After a seven-year freeze, Pakistan is once again able to export an increasing number of fish products to the European Union and other global markets.
For more details, please check out the programme brochure.