ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved the revised Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2020-25 with a string of policy measures to promote annual export target to $57 billion by end of 2024-25.

This is the fourth strategic framework announced since 2009 by the government which allocated Rs44.72bn for its implementation in the next five years by giving subsidies and other support to non-textile sectors.

As per the approved policy, an allocation of Rs13bn was made for improving competitiveness of the products in the next five years, followed by Rs15.22bn for integration into global value chain including Rs0.19bn for enhanced market access, Rs12bn for export diversification and Rs2.79bn for branding.

Under the policy, Rs16.5bn is allocated for developing export ecosystem.

Policy focuses on new strategic sectors to achieve goals

This will include infrastructure development, institutional strengthening, standards compliance, social and environmental safeguards.

Pakistan’s exports have remained stagnant for the last 10 years ranging between $20bn to $25bn and thereby reducing the country’s share in the global export market by 10.5pc. During the same period, China and India enhanced their share in global exports by 27pc and 18pc respectively, whereas Bangladesh registered an impressive growth of 95pc.

However, the surging imports have resulted into a huge trade deficit during the period under review.

The Ministry of Commerce estimates that the measures announced in the STPF 2020-25 will help to achieve export target of $31.20bn in 2021-22, $37.38bn in 2022-23, $45.81bn in 2023-24 and $57.03bn in 2024-24, respectively.

Under the new policy, sector-wise targets for the next five years were also projected. The value-added textile was projected to achieve an export target of $15.474bn in 2021-22, which will reach $30.94bn by 2024-25. The export target of textile is projected at $4.526bn for 2021-22 which will reach $9.05bn by end 2024-25.

The leather export target for 2021-22 was projected at $910m, followed by $540m for surgical instruments, $2.037bn for rice, $300m for rice and $160m for cutlery. The projection for two sectors show massive growth which show that rice exports will reach $3.098bn and leather $1.384bn, respectively, by 2024-25.

The policy also focuses on new strategic sectors. The exports of engineering goods is projected to reach $265m by 2024-25 from $174m in 2021-22, followed by pharmaceutical products $608m from $400m, auto parts $106m from $70m, processed food and beverages $1.536bn from $1.01bn, chemicals $391m from $257m, gems and jewellery $61m from $40m, footwear $230m from $151m and meat and poultry $662m from $435m, fruits and vegetables $1.369bn from $900m, sea food $672m from $442m, marble and granite $41m from $27m, respectively.

For the implementation of the STPF, it has been decided to constitute a cross functional National Export Development Board (NEDB) comprising of members from all stakeholders. The Ministry of Commerce will serve as a secretariat of the NEDB and at least bimonthly meetings of the Board will be held in order to ensure the implementation of various policy measures.

The board will provide strategic guidance to all the relevant institutions and stakeholders mandated with the role to promote export-oriented foreign and local investment in the country with the aim to increase Pakistan’s export competitiveness by continuously improving the enabling environment for exports and increasing firms’ capabilities.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2021

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