KARACHI: Zubair Ahmed Malik, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry FPCCI has attended the 4th Global Review of Aid for Trade at the WTO Headquarters in Geneva. While attending the session on “Aid for Trade, Value Chains and Intra Asian Trade,” he spoke about Pakistan’s success in taking advantage of the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation CAREC and the South Asian Free Trade Area SAFTA agreements, as well as the major blocks that Pakistani businessmen face in connecting to regional value chain networks.
He said that the Aid for Trade initiative had been introduced by WTO in 2006 to encourage developing country governments and donors to recognize the role that trade can play in development. Many developing countries face a range of supply and logistics side constraints which hampers their ability to participate more actively in international trade. The WTO initiative helps such countries to overcome these issues.
Zubair Malik said that in the coming future, adherence to world standards and technical regulations will determine the direction of world trade. Pakistan is an active supporter of free trade and gives priority to trade related economic development. Pakistan is also focusing on a strategy of economic growth enhancement, as a prerequisite to combating poverty.
While mentioning recent developments in the South Asian region, he appreciated Pakistan’s plans to link up with China via railway besides the plan to make the existing road an all-weather track.
This will allow for better access to China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic. Similarly, with South Asian countries, he said that there had been some progress in moving forward with India with regard to bilateral trade, but there was still plenty of room for improvement.
He said that the progress of intra-SAARC trade depends on the Pakistan India situation, and if these two big nations sort out their problems, we can move ahead on SAFTA.