ISLAMABAD - The priorities of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) were the value addition and enhancement of value supply chain for the promotion of agriculture trade and exports of the country.

"We are committed to promote and branding of local fruits from Gilgit-Baltistan, Swat and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and value addition of local dates from South Punjab and Sindh for the facilitation of growers and traders," senior official of the ministry told APP. The ministry would initiate the project of establishing cold storages in Gilgit-Baltistan and Swat for prolong preservation and to enhance the shelf life of apricot, peaches and persimmon.

He said, "We have organised exhibitions involving diplomats and international organisation for the promotion of fruits in Swat and Gilgit Baltistan." The official said that TDAP is working with international organisations including Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CPI) in developing countries for branding and enhancing the value addition in agro-trade in these areas.

"We are going to hold seminars on apricot, peaches and persimmon to educate the local farmers and develop good agriculture practices in these areas," he said. He said that TDAP has involved Smeda for the infrastructure development and for promotion and branding of these products.

Replying to a question, he said that the ministry is going to set up a research centre in collaboration with UNIDO for training and enhancing the capacity of staff. He said that TDAP will organise dates festival here on September 18, 2017 and will invite diplomats and international organizations for promotion and value addition of these products.

He said the ministry will also organise a conference to involve Central Asian countries for promotion of regional trade and expand market in these countries. The official said that the ministry has a plan to create international level institute for innovation and value addition of leather and gems and jewellery in the country. He said that in coming November TDAP will organise events in Muzafarabad for the promotion of local fruit and would involve international stakeholders for portraying positive image of the country.

The official said that trade officers were also facilitating the traders for holding of exhibitions and seminars. He said that the ministry was contributing to the national economy through trade facilitation and liberalisation, improved export competitiveness and by reducing the cost of doing business.

"We are working to explore new trade avenues and markets in different regions," he said. The government is committed in providing direction and diversification to internal trade for improving supply chains vital for enhancing the country's exports.