ISLAMABAD - Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan on Thursday constituted a committee comprising senior officers of Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to prepare recommendations for doubling the country’s export to $50 billion.

The Committee, headed by Secretary Commerce, would meet fortnightly and will present its recommendations to the Minister for further action. In the first meeting of the Committee, the Minister identified several areas, which need immediate attention of the committee. The Minister said that to double exports of Pakistan, there is a pressing need to overhaul and restructure the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

He directed the Committee to bring forth concrete and practically viable proposals to make TDAP an efficient body that can make an imprint on the trading front of Pakistan. He also instructed the Committee to study the mechanism of trade promotion in the developed countries and the East Asian countries that have made trade as their engine for growth. The Minister said that the marketing mechanism of the TDAP and the officers posted abroad should also be studied to formulate an effective method of trade promotion.  The Minister asked the Committee to devise a suitable mechanism to efficiently utilise proceeds collected under the Export Development Fund. He said that EDF is a great trade promotion tool with the MoC which could be effectively utilised to facilitate the process of trade and its expansion.  Dastgir said that there is an imperative need to devise a strategy for sectoral export promotion and enlist items which have the potential to be exported in addition to the current champion export items of Pakistan. The Minister enumerated a few sectors like gems and jewellery, marble etc which are on the export list but their true export potential have not been evaluated and directed the committee to suggest schemes to multiply their exports.

The Minister said that MoC should also focus and concentrate its trade promotion activities to the countries and regions which are new potential buyers of Pakistani products in addition to the traditional markets. He also emphasised the need for value-addition in Pakistani products which if done schematically can essentially double the country’s exports.