World Trade Organisation holds a seminar on Major Issues Confronting Pakistan’s Industry


Islamabad: The WTO Cell of the Ministry of Industries, Islamabad, held a seminar titled “General Awareness on WTO and Major Issues Confronting Pakistan’s Industry today“ On June 24, 2011, jointly organized by the WTO Cell and the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

Mrs. Shaista Sohail, Joint Secretary, Policy and Planning Wing, Ministry of Industries was the key speaker at the occasion and led the WTO Cell of the Ministry comprising Ms. Seema Raza Bokhari, Chief WTO, Mr. Muhammad Akram Raza, NAMA Specialist and Mr. Abubakar Farooq, Economist/Trade Analyst. The Seminar was attended by Mr. Tauseef Zaman, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and industry and other participants from government departments/organizations and businesses representatives.

Mrs. Shaista Sohail made a comprehensive and elaborate presentation on the WTO Scope, Rules, Bindings and their implications for local manufacturing sector. She updated the participants about the latest developments in the WTO Trade Negotiations. She highlighted the implications of NAMA for Pakistan’s local industry and explained how the Swiss Formula approach will reduce tariffs considerably. Resultantly, only the competitive industries would survive. The industrialists therefore needed to prepare for the challenges ahead.

She was of the view that Pakistan needs to explore all possibilities for enhancing industrial productivity through innovation, supply-side management, product quality and by adhering to international standards especially with respect to the environment. Industries not alive to these requirements and not adopting energy efficient production methods would end up losing their share in the world markets. She emphasized the energy crisis in the country and its adverse impact on the industry. In an endeavour to create awareness among the participants about the alternate energy methods especially solar, she highlighted the efforts of the Ministry to promote it as an industry.

She also underscored the current state of Pakistan’s economy stressing Pakistan’s low share in world merchandize trade and called on the industrial sector to strive hard to increase it. She stated that the Draft Industrial policy of the Ministry gives the roadmap to achieve competitiveness and to enhance our exports in the world market.

Mr. Tauseef Zaman, Vice President, ICCI, thanked the Joint Secretary and her team for informing the participants about the WTO regime, its implications for the local industry and expressed the concerns of the business community on some trade related issues.

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