PM, cabinet hailed for approving much awaited trade policy

KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has felicitated Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet for approving the much awaited trade policy and called for review and early implementation of the strategic policy framework by the different ministries for integrated efforts.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver invited the attention of the PM to the important issues of promotion of alternate energy, finance, cost of doing business, ease of doing business and modernization of SME units to enhance value addition which needed serious consideration in the trade policy.

Thaver also pinpointed the importance of the availability of water and gas in addition to the other aspects and urged the PM to ensure the inclusion of these factors in the trade policy framework to sharpen it further and make it more efficient and promising for the economy.

He said it is pertinent to note the global slowdown which has badly affected the exports of our country, secondly our industries have become non-competitive primarily due to inefficiencies of the supply chain. He regretted that the cabinet did not apply its mind to the causes of decline in exports before approving this important document which is supposed to enhance exports for the next three years and serve as a complimentary policy for the Vision 2025.

However the union chief urged the PM to ensure that the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy are thoroughly examined by the experts. The agro based industries and the micro to medium sector are well facilitated to ensure the success of the trade policy. Unfortunately the experts who could have made this policy outstanding were not included in the framework and most of their suggestions ignored. Policy making is not everybody’s cup of tea and calls for expertise. Most of the cabinet members are experts in other areas and it was the duty of the commerce ministry to have made a comprehensive policy.

He lamented that even the SME policy remains unimplemented as better late than never it could serve as a corollary to the trade policy and its implementation be ordered by the PM and his cabinet. The question is whether the new trade policy would facilitate the textile sector, the reopening of the 1000 or more closed rice factories, the renewal of activities in the commodities sector and above all facilitate the value addition sector which is the SME sector and undoubtedly the majority sector.