Increasing Pakistan’s Exports
FNF Pakistan recently co-organized with the Foreign Services Academy, Islamabad a bespoke training on “International Trade Policy & Digital Economy” for the young and mid-career diplomats.
During the opening remarks FNF Pakistan head of country office Birgit Lamm shared that "I am really honoured to inaugurate our @FNFPakistan session on international trade, international tariff and non-tariff mechanisms and digital economy at the Foreign Service Academy to new and mid-career officers. We focus on a business friendly environment that serves the people through innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability”.
Talking about how trade functions and understanding issues with facts and figures is the key to making long term strategic decisions. Under this framework she shared the work on GSP+ and trade facilitation that FNF Pakistan is doing. “GSP+ is exactly this: it is free access to European Markets under the condition of compliance with international agreements signed by Pakistan (mainly in the fields of labour standards, compliance with SDGs among others). In this regard I would like to share with you all our recent analysis on the GSP+ status in Pakistan.”
She concluded with thanking DG Foreign Service Academy, Amb. Dr. Mazhar Javed and Dr. Mariam Saeed for facilitating this training to better equip Pakistani diplomats in enhancing Pakistani exports and become an integral part of the global value chains.
The world is moving away from tariffs to Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs).We should also think on these lines
"We need to change producer’s (industrialists, agriculturist etc.) mind-set at local level to improve the quality of their products produced here in Pakistan. Concurrently, we need to change consumer’s mind-set in the local market to demand quality. Both of these are long term approaches. In the meanwhile the role of non-tariff measures (NTMs) is exactly this: it protects your consumers from bad quality products. The world is moving away from tariffs to NTMs. We should also think on these lines" Dr. Aadil Nakhoda shared.
He was talking to young diplomats in training at the Foreign Services Academy in Islamabad. He gave them interactive and practical training on how to use online resources to determine trade-related issues: ranging from top five imports and export of any country to determining the most important export destination for any country. Discussion with participants revolved around the role of tariffs for revenue generation vs the long term strategic goals of increasing exports.
We need more spreadsheets and less bedsheets
In the afternoon session Shehryar Hydri, Partner Deosai Ventures shared during his session on “Digital Economy from a Business Perspective” that we can't treat "Digital Pakistan" as a separate bubble but it has to permeate every traditional sector for us to get exponential returns. IT is the fastest-growing export sector and if supported with a long-term vision, it has the capability to overtake textiles as our top dollar earner. "We need more spreadsheets and less bedsheets". The population bomb in Pakistan is producing a youth bulge that will not find productive jobs in Pakistan and the brain drain is a result of that. However, there is also a positive side to this trend: If we provide remote working opportunities to our middle class, they will not leave physically and will add dollar earnings to our knowledge economy. The best way to do this is to digitise our entire economy and reap massive returns on investment.