Commerce Division holds a PPC on trade policy
Lahore: Trade Policy Wing of Commerce Division held a Public-Private Sector Consultation (PPC) on Gender and Trade Policy at Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) in collaboration with Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA), a USAID Funded project and Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development, on Tuesday.
The objective of the event was to consult the stakeholders for gender-sensitive trade policy formulation and generating actionable policy proposals for increased participation of women in the mainstream economic activities.
The session was co-chaired by Director General, PITAD and Director General, Trade Policy, Commerce Division. The representatives of think tanks, public sector organisations, banks, academia, Women Chambers of Commerce and civil society organisations participated in the session. Director General Trade Policy, Ministry of Commerce, Muhammad Ashraf, outlined the objectives and main policy thrust of the upcoming Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2018-23.
He said that the STPF was being formulated through an extensive consultative process and intensive policy research.
A series of consultations has been held with the private and public sector stakeholders in all the major export centres including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Sialkot, Faisalabad and Islamabad. One of the bedrocks of the trade policy was the inclusive growth especially the gender mainstreaming. An international conference on gender and trade was held in Karachi as a consultative process of STPF.
He said that according to IMF estimates, closing the gender gap could boost Pakistan’s GDP by 30%. The upcoming STPF would be introducing special policy measures to support and facilitate women entrepreneurs for entry into the international exports arena. The policy would focus on institutionalizing the mechanism for adherence to the international conventions related to women, establishment of institutions and networks, coalition making with the relevant departments, facilitating women’s access to resources especially finances and capacity building on gender sensitivity, he said. The participants appreciated the efforts of Commerce Division on making gender mainstreaming as one of the priority areas of trade policy. Ms. Samar Ihsan, Joint Secretary, Commerce Division, informed that Pakistan was one of the 118 signatories of the Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment that was signed on the occasion of the WTO’ Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017 and advocated the women participation in the international trade.