Pakistan is the 66th-largest export economy in the world and the 110th most complex economy, as per the country’s economic complexity index.
In 2015, the value of Pakistani exports stood at $26.2 billion (Dh96.2 billion) and imports at $45.5 billion, resulting in a negative trade balance of $19.3billion.
Exports further reduced to $20.8 billion last year due to changing political and security situations in Europe and the Middle East.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already announced that his government would give short-, medium- and long-term relief to exporters so that no segment is left behind in achieving growth targets.
Analysts say that free trade agreements with China and Malaysia, high energy costs and slowdown in global growth are among the reasons for decline in exports.
The private sector also needs to modernise machinery and increase efficiencies to compete with regional countries in the global markets.
The government is trying to come out of the negative exports growth trajectory. Pakistan closed the fiscal year 2015-16 at an eight-year low, with exports falling despite preferential access to European markets. For fiscal year 2016-17, the government has projected exports to grow to $24.75 billion and imports to $45.2 billion.
The task of increasing the value of exports has been handed over to the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), previously known as the Export Promotion Bureau.
TDAP is a dedicated, effective and empowered organisation that is professionally managed and financially accountable.
As the premier trade organisation of the country, TDAP not only strives to promote Pakistan’s business with the world but also seeks to establish a brand image for the country.
The authority works to broaden the base of exports by increasing Pakistan’s
share in historic and new markets and in the development of both traditional and non-traditional products.
TDAP achieved the objective of significant export growth through interaction and coordination with public- and private-sector stakeholders. It encourages stakeholders to enhance the value of products and services through different schemes of trade policy.
TDAP’s significance as a trade organisation can be assessed from the fact that it serves as a platform for Pakistan’s representation in almost 110-120 international trade exhibitions across the world each year through aggressive, innovative and proactive marketing and promotional efforts. It also serves as a facilitator for 90 plus trade delegations to and from Pakistan to increase capability and capacity of the supply base of goods and services by fostering supportive export culture.
On the domestic front, the annual and biennial features of TDAP such as Expo Pakistan and WEXNET continue to be the biggest platforms of their kind for the promotion of Pakistani business and entrepreneurs.
TDAP helps to improve market access through advising the government on matters of trade diplomacy and promoting the business image of Pakistan in the key export markets for the country’s products and services.
It collaborates with international as well as national agencies such as International Trade Centre, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and Pakistan Business Council, for capacity building and supporting export-oriented foreign investment and joint ventures.
TDAP’s mission is to achieve a quantum leap in Pakistan’s exports. To fulfil such a mission, TDAP has employed people with the right skills and
competencies and used professional management techniques and advanced international marketing strategies backed by competent market research
and trade analysis supported by the use of the latest technology.
Realising the need to do much more, the authority continues to take significant initiatives and make diligent efforts for fulfilling TDAP’s vision and mission along with promoting Pakistan’s overall trade and economic development.
— GN Focus Report