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The Prime Minister directs the new trade policy to support the business sector

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday called for immediate action to increase the competitiveness of domestic exports. He directed officials to create trade policies to support businesses.

During an industry meeting, the Prime Minister directed that certified duty drawback to exporters should be paid immediately. He also recommended promoting the export of non-traditional products.

He stressed the key role of the private sector and said its views should be taken into account in policymaking. He ordered the implementation of a deletion policy to support the automotive industry.

Prime Minister Sharif asked the concerned ministry to develop a plan to evaluate the performance of trade and investment officers in foreign missions. Officers who perform well will be rewarded and those who do not perform well will be removed. The Prime Minister announced that he would personally review export sectors every two weeks.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister was told that transit trade agreements with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are already in force. Moreover, negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Persian Gulf countries have come to an end.

It was also mentioned that during the recent Pakistan-Saudi Arabia business conference, around 450 business-to-business meetings were held and e-commerce was booming with over 3,000 companies registered on the Pakistan trade portal.

The meeting covered several other topics. The gem export framework was being finalized, tighter controls on Afghan transit trade were introduced, public sector insurance companies saw double-digit increases in premiums, and Pakistan and Russia agreed in principle to begin barter trade.

Moreover, discussions were held on the New Strategic Trade Policy and Preferential Trade Agreements with Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. Steps have also been taken to establish a Technology and Innovation Fund to boost industrial development.

The meeting was attended by the Governor of the State Bank, senior officials from various departments and federal ministers Jam Kamal Khan, Muhammad Aurangzeb, Dr Musaddik Malik, Ahad Khan Cheema and deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Jahanzeb Khan.