TRADE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF PAKISTAN
Aims at following holistic approach for development and promotion of goods and services in the global markets
SHABBIR H. KAZMI
June 18 - 24, 2007
The GoP set an export target of US$ 18.6 billion for the current financial year, which was 12.9% higher compared to 2005-06. However, exports during July-April period amounted US$ 13.9 billion vs. US$ 13.46 billion for the corresponding period last year, registering a growth 3.4% only. The dwindling exports should be a point of concern for all because if the situation prevails it would erode foreign exchange reserves and also bring the exchange rate under pressure.
Though the Ministry of Commerce prepares the trade policy, the export strategy for 2007-08 will be prepared and implemented by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), the successor of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The TDAP was established on 8th November, 2006, under a Presidential Ordinance. The TDAP is mandated to become a dedicated, effective and empowered organization that is professionally managed.
The new mandate of TDAP, as the name denotes will be trade development as opposed to export promotion. It has to follow holistic approach of development and promotion of goods and services for exports to global markets.
In order to understand the mandate of the TDAP it is necessary to understand what the EPB was doing and where it failed? The EPB was established in 1963 as an attached Department of the Ministry of Commerce. Its mandate was to facilitate exporters across the country, help them overcome challenges by leveraging opportunities on the supply and demand side. It funded initiatives, and assist them in establishing common facilities with stakeholders. For 43 years, the EPB remained the primary agency of the Government of Pakistan that played a vital role in promoting Pakistan's goods and services internationally.
Over the years EPB played the critical role of helping exporters to participate in 30 to 80 exhibitions abroad each year. It regularly sent and received 20 and 40 trade delegations each year to explore new markets and enhance market share through sustainable growth and diversification.
It supported the Ministry of Commerce in preparing trade policies and implementing the consequential initiatives it was assigned. Its role in Textile Quota management was significant. It has issued millions of GSP Certificates and management of gold and jewelry export regulations. More than 20,000 exporters were facilitated and funded to participate in international expos.
One of the most significant contributions of the EPB, was to provide Pakistan with its first ever Export Strategy and a roadmap for export growth. Undertaken in close consultation with stakeholders in year 2000, analysis of Pakistan's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) resulted in the development of the strategy for exports. This strategy differentiated between strategic thrusts directly impacting achievement of Volume and Value in exports and those that would cause a more Enabling Environment for the private sector to realize their aspirations.
This strategy articulated enhancement of market share of Pakistan's Core product categories in the major markets, achieving value addition and increased competitive strength, specifically focusing on selected products and weak geographical areas. The strategy also emphasized enhancing value addition, entering into bilateral and multilateral trade agreements for attaining greater market access, leveraging economic relations with countries where Pakistan already enjoys strong bilateral relationships.
The Economic Reform Agenda of the GoP expects the exporters to make greater contribution to the GDP by achieving a quantum leap. In the words of Prime Minister, 'Exports are our lifeline'. For successful export promotion it is vital that the product supply chain is strengthened specially to add value. Through focus, synergy and collective wisdom and enhanced capability and capacity of companies supplying goods and services, the Authority spearheads the national drive for exports under the guidelines of the TDAP Board.
The Authority aims at fostering supportive and proactive export culture while encouraging and coordinating other ministries and departments. The TDAP has to undertake export marketing and export promotion within the enlarged mandate and remit. The TDA has to create direct linkages with stakeholders, local and abroad, to synergize resources towards the pursuit of a quantum leap in exports. The Authority is responsible for advising the government on regulations and trade development initiatives to achieve greater share of exports in GDP.
Export strategy being followed by the TDAP can be clubbed in six key areas 1) enhancing market size, 2) achieving greater value addition, 3) diversifying exports, 4) expanding geographically, 5) enhancing trade with traditional partner countries, 6) leveraging trade by joining trade blocs and signing preferential trade agreements and free trade agreements. Yet another key area included is developing women entrepreneurship.
The real test of the efforts of the TDAP will be when the next Trade Policy is announced and then formulation of revised export strategy. The existing Trade Policy and Export Strategy have not yielded the desired results, evident from failure to achieve the target.
Pakistan has been lagging behind compared to its traditional competitors. If the country wants to retain its market share in the global markets all the stakeholders have to work harder. Manufacturers will have to enhance production and productivity and the GoP and all other concerned departments facilitate the manufacturers in achieving higher exportable surplus.
Fixing an ambitious export target is meaningless unless supported by appropriate policies, also implemented in letter and spirit.
CORE CATEGORIES OTHER CORE CATEGORIES
Raw Cotton Yarn (All Types)
Made Ups (Excluding Towel)
Art Silk and Synthetic Textiles Rice
Leather / Products
Carpets and Wool
Fruit, Vegetables & Wheat.
Marble & Granite.
I.T- Software & Services
Gems & Jewelry