LAHORE - The public private dialogue mechanism established by Ministry of Commerce with the assistance of ITC under European Union funded TRTA II programme is a good start for participatory formulation, implementation and monitoring of trade policies; stated speakers while addressing the inaugural session of the public private dialogue on “Enhancing Competitiveness and Export Potential of Textile and Leather Garments”. The PPD was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and PITAD under the EU funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme.

Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken while addressing the PPD informed about the efforts of government to provide conducive business environment through favorable policies. He highlighted the achievement of EU GSP plus status as a milestone achievement of the government. He appreciated ITC and PITAD for holding the PPD and the previous research work including on EU GSP plus and other market access initiatives. He urged the need for development of Research and Development facilities to enhance competitiveness and to develop demand based products. Mr. Lashari urged the need to develop productive capacity through addressing the issues hindering the development of the sector. He underscored the need for joint thinking process by the government and private sector to reap benefits from some recent developments including the grant of GSP plus status granted to Pakistan by the EU.

He pointed out that action oriented agenda needs to be developed and followed. He highlighted the issues which are faced by the business community which needs to be addressed through policy reform.

Ms. Roshan Ara, development advisor, EU delegation to Pakistan highlighted the recent grant of EU GSP plus status to Pakistan by the European parliament which came into force on 01 January 2014. She  stressed that Pakistan needs to enhance its productive capacity and compliance with certification and other requirements to truly benefit from the scheme. She informed about the sectoral support which the EU has been providing under the TRTA II programme and the resumption of fishries exports to EU.

Director General PITAD, Mr. Sajid Hussain and ITC representative Mr. Mohammad Owais Khan explained the TRTAII programme, the process of PPDs and the success achieved so far under the programme. PITAD which represents Ministry of Commerce for technical assistance programmes pledged more such dialogues together with ITC in future to document the issues faced by business community.

The technical session was chaired by Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken which was informed by an internationally peer reviewed research study conducted by Dr. Syed Kausar Ali Zaidi, under guidance of ITC. Panel discussants from private sector including Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Leather garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, LCCI and Pakistan Hoseiry Manufacturers association explained the issues and possible recommendations for the sectors. Representatives from Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Textile Industry, TDAP, PITAD informed about the govt initiatives to promote the sectors and how private sector can play its role.

Professor Naved Hamid also discussed the sector in detail and highlighted the joint actions which the government and private sector should take together to develop the sector and to enhance exports to EU following the grant of GSP plus status.