ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has agreed to provide technical assistance to Pakistan in its efforts to frame a new tariff structure aimed at giving a boost to national exports and government revenues.
The offer of technical assistance came after a proposal in that regard was floated by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir in a meeting with a high-level delegation of the World Bank.
The delegation was led by World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan and Senior Director Trade and Competitiveness Anabel Gonzalez. “It was decided that a new tariff policy will be designed by the Ministry of Commerce with technical assistance from the World Bank,” said an official of the Ministry of Commerce.
The commerce minister nominated Dr Nazim Latif, Director General Trade Policy, as the team leader who would initiate deliberations on the tariff policy.
The minister emphasised the need for increasing export competitiveness not only at the commerce ministry but also in the entire government in order to make Pakistani products more competitive in the world market.
He told the delegation that Pakistan’s macroeconomic indicators had improved considerably, terrorism incidents had gone down sharply and energy crisis had been tackled on a sustainable basis.
He stressed that Pakistan had made tremendous progress in the area of ease of doing business and would continue to improve by introducing required legislation and administrative measures.
Gonzalez responded that the World Bank would provide all the necessary technical assistance, which could increase.
Illangovan suggested that in order to support Pakistan in developing the new tariff structure, the World Bank could also engage international trade experts having success stories to their credit from the contemporary economies.
In a bid to shield the domestic industry and Pakistan’s trade interests, the commerce minister had announced at a press conference on Monday that the National Tariff Commission had become fully functional after revamping of its structure and laws.
“The commission has been equipped with required human, financial and technical resources,” he said.