ISLAMABAD: The government, in collaboration with the World Bank, is preparing a stakeholders enga­gement plan for Pakistan Goes Global (PGG), with the aim of improving the environment for exports, it was learnt on Tuesday.

The initiative aims for ‘a global and technology driven Pakistan’ and will focus on investments for creating an enabling environment for exports.

These include export promotion infrastructure, automation of government to business interactions to reduce costs and increase transparency, and implementation support to reduce the country’s anti-export bias, and on investments in firms’ export capabilities.

The project objectives of creating an enabling environment for exports; and investing in firms’ export capabilities will eventually strengthen trade and investment competitiveness in Pakistan by redesigning the institutional setup and in­­creasing transparency and accountability of government-funded ­support programmes.

The government is cognizant of the fact that there is a lack of coordination bet­ween various departments which are dealing with matters pertaining to commerce and trade. There is an increased realisation that if the country has to compete in the international market, there needs to be synergy of efforts amongst various government agencies responsible for different elements of the trade and commerce sector, the project document notes.

The programme is de­­si­g­ned to address several issues which investments to in­­crease strategic coordination of government agencies and evidence based policymaking; investments towards automation, investments to­­wards export promotion, and investments towards building exporters’ capabilities.

The operation will finance both direct expenditures procured under specific activities, as well as expenditure programmes associated with disbursement linked indicators aimed at achieving results under the different components.

A ‘Pakistan Goes Global Board’ will be established to coordinate export promotion efforts across different institutions and different tiers of government; integrating the business processes of key ministries concerned with trade promotion to reduce duplication of efforts; creating a one stop shop for business licensing in Pakistan, and strengthening the institutions responsible for trade policy and tariff policy formulation.

The component will also support the launch of a country branding campaign, and other efforts to modernise Pakistan’s trade diplomacy; in addition to creating mechanisms to link local sellers with global markets.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2020