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Body formed to set up Export and Import Bank

29 August, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday constituted a three-member committee for setting up Export and Import Bank (EXIM Bank) in Pakistan.

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday constituted a three-member committee for setting up Export and Import Bank (EXIM Bank) in Pakistan.

He was chairing a meeting at the Ministry of Commerce, convened to review the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2012-15.

The State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwer would head the committee while the finance secretary and commerce secretary would be its other members, official sources at the Ministry of Commerce said.

According to sources the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15 (STPF 2012-15) does not include any proposal for allowing import of seven-year-old and used cars, and that finalisation of the Auto Industry Development Plan (AIDP) for the next five to ten years was the subject of the Ministry of Industry and not that of the Commerce Ministry.

The prime minister's visit to the Ministry of Commerce was the first of a series of visits planned by him to review the working and performance of various ministries.

Official sources further informed that the prime minister was not satisfied with the performance of the commercial councillors posted abroad for the promotion of exports. He directed the ministry to prepare performance benchmarks to analyse their performance annually.

The prime minister expressed concern over the trend in the past few years, which has seen the market share of Pakistan shrink. He said one of the reasons for that was the lengthy and complicated procedure involved in operating businesses in Pakistan. The PM directed the Ministry of Commerce to analyse the reasons behind this decline and make suitable recommendations for inclusion in the STPF for corrections in this trend.

He appreciated the STPF document prepared by the Ministry of Commerce and said that to keep pace with ever-increasing inter-dependence of world economies and flow of goods and services across borders, periodical review and realignment of trade policy was imperative.

The prime minister appreciated the proposal of opening retail outlets abroad for the promotion of trade but emphasised that their locations were of critical importance.

Raja urged that the trade policy should not only address big businesses but also cater for small businesses, which would create more employment opportunities.

He directed the Ministry for Commerce to explore new markets for Pakistani goods and suggested paying more attention to Central Asian and African countries. Raja urged the ministry to lay emphasis on economic relations with Afghanistan, which had the potential of becoming a major economic partner.

Appreciating the recent reduction in interest rates by the State Bank of Pakistan, Raja expressed hope that this change would prove to be an incentive in generating increased economic activity in the country.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Nadeemul Haq, Minister of State for Commerce Abbas Khan Afridi, BI Chairman Saleem H Mandviwala, State Bank Governor Yaseen Anwer, FBR Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem and other senior officials of the relevant ministries.


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