After the government's decision to modify and extend PITAD's organisational structure, its scope of work and mandate, a dynamic
research wing of PITAD has started its
working since September 2009 to reinforce
the research base. It has yet to attain its full
staff strength through an on-going hiring
process. The activities (on-going as well as planned) of
PITAD's research wing have been organised
under the following areas. These have been
initiated keeping in mind their relevance and
usefulness to policy making and
implementation, for the Ministry of
Commerce on the matters of commerce and international trade. In terms of
organisational structure, the research wing is composed of following research staff:-
Director, Policy and Research
Director, Trade Policy and Administration
Joint Director, Monitoring and Evaluation
Senior Research Associates
Research Associates/Research Internees
It is pertinent to mention here that three
types of research modes are adopted,
encouraged and have potential for growth;
Under the overall leadership of Director General and operational guidance of Director and Joint Director, in-house
research is promoted through;
a) Individual Research Papers (IRPs)
The topics are mutually decided amongst the
Director, Joint Director, Director (Trade
Policy) and the individual, collective
researchers on the basis of interest, data
availability and policy relevance. The time frame for the completion of IRPs, is 3 to 4
months, and these are also wetted by in-
house presentation attended by external experts for improvements and suggestions at the initiating stage.
b) Collective Research
It is an outcome of a team of researchers
headed by Director, Joint Director, Director
(Trade Policy), one Senior Research Associate
and one or more Research Associates.
Depending on the nature of the study, its
time frame is longer and may extend from 4
to 12 months. The criteria for choosing and
approving the topic is similar to the one
adopted for IRPs. However, it may involve
primary data collection and therefore may
take longer for completion.
In the past, PITAD in a limited capacity, also undertook contractual research awarded by bi-lateral / multi-lateral agencies and other government ministries. In a comprehensive and strengthened
framework, PITAD intends to pursue this mode of research in a more active manner by submitting research proposals and
actively participating and winning in an open bidding to broaden its research areas and supplement its financial resources.
To encourage collaborative research as well as to supplement research capacity
unavailable in-house, PITAD also out-sources research to other organisations and well-
known researchers. It also manages and
monitors research / studies / strategy papers contracted out by the MOC.
ON-GOING / PLANNED RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
Product and Market Level Studies
At the policy level, the policy makers and the
MOC in Pakistan face a continuous challenge
of lack of product and market diversification
along with a declining share of Pakistan's
exports in world trade. While policy
documents are filled with generic reasons
for this stagnancy and decline, it is felt by
PITAD that unless serious research is not
undertaken in identifying the individual
products and markets contributing to this
situation, focused policy prescriptions and
interventions cannot be formulated.
PITAD is currently engaged in a number of benchmark studies at the Product level (1, 2, 4 and 8 digit level) to estimate, and
document the trends in competitiveness for the following products and sectors. These studies are being conducted at the individual research level:-
a) Agro-Food Products (1 digit level) b) Leather and Leather Products
c) Gems and Jewellery (4-digit level)
Diagnostic studies of direction of trade, that
analyse changing markets and changing
products over time are useful for trade
attaches abroad as well as the domestic
exporters, manufacturers and export bodies.
A collective study has been launched
selecting the following products at the 4-
digit level as per their share in overall trade.
These are also highlighted in STPF 2009-12:
a) Agro-Food Products (4-digit level)
b) Leather and Leather Products (4-digit
c) Meat and Meat Products (3-digit level)
d) Clothing (4-digit level)
e) Petrol / Chemical Products and Cement
f) Gem Stones and Jewellery (4-digit level)
g) Misc. Manufactures (Sports Goods,
Trade Reforms have been carried out in the country since 1988 in various forms, political regimes and varying speed. Their impact on sectoral export competitiveness is still
largely unknown. PITAD has initiated a study
based on primary level firm and industry
data to conduct:-
Impact Assessment of Trade Reforms on
Sectoral Export Competitiveness of Yarn,
Fabric and Garment Sectors.
Market Access, FTAs, PTAs, Regional and Bi-lateral Trade Agreements
In recent years FTAs, PTAs, RTAs and Investment Treaties are an important vehicle of gaining market access. Pakistan has entered into a number of FTAs e.g. Sri Lanka and China, and regional
agreement SAFTA. It is contemplating to
enter into few others e.g. EU and USA for
There are two policy questions to these arrangements for market access:-
A) First, we need to evaluate the existing
agreements from the perspective of
trade costs / benefits to the signatories.
This can identify ways to maximise the
benefits and also how best to re-structure future agreements.
B) Secondly, we need to start identifying
products for which we have comparative
advantage to use them for defining our
negotiating space in prospective
Thus studies are needed in both dimensions. Currently PITAD's Research Focus is engaged in both aspects of policy issues.
- The collective study began last year on
evaluating Pak-Sri Lanka FTA and is almost at the completion stage.
- Recently, gaining experience from the
Pak- Sri Lanka study, another in-house collective study on Pak-China FTA has been launched.
Moreover one more study in the area of
Regional Competitiveness is underway in
- Extending Transit Facility to India under
APTA: Implications for Afghan-Pakistan
Bilateral Trade (Individual Research
- Econometric Modeling of bilateral/multi-lateral determinants of trade flows can
provide important insights into ways for
increasing trade in goods and services.
Realising this, a study on gravity
modeling of trade flows between
India and Pakistan is underway in
PITAD, which will be extended to other countries and regions subsequently.
Trade in Services
This is another growing area for positioning Pakistan's export internationally, regionally and bi-laterally.
A Contractual Study awarded by ADB on
"Liberalisation of Trade in Services in SAFTA:
Prospects and Challenges for Pakistan" has
been recently completed. It covered the
Health, Education, Trade facilitation and
Transport and Telecommunication sectors.
Proposal for financing of an extension of the above study to Finance, Banking, Insurance, Construction and Other Business Service
Sectors has been recently submitted to ADB. Proposal of "Trade in Services in SAFTA:
Prospects and Challenges for India, Sri Lanka and Nepal" have also been submitted for
Intra-regional trade in services can only
flourish if complementarities can be found
among the trading partners. An in-house
study, will estimate the extent of
complementarities of services sector for four major SAFTA members' countries i.e. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka".
Evaluating the Impact of Non-Tariff Barriers
on Pak-India Trade.
Trade and Fiscal Policy
Inspite of overall reduction in levels of tariffs
across countries globally, under the WTO
regime, individual countries continue to
impose tariffs to stabilise BOP and achieve
macro-economic stabilisation. Pakistan
imposed regulatory duty on 373 luxury items
in Aug 2008 to reduce import bill and
supplement revenues. Whether this had the desired effect, needs to be empirically
verified for future policy actions. Thus the following collective study is in the final
"Impact of Regulatory Duty on Luxury Imports and Revenue Generation"
"A Note on Impact of Export Duty on Yarn and Textile Exports: Preliminary Empirical Investigation" submitted to relevant
ministries in Nov 2009.
Trade and ICT
An individual research paper to assess "The
Impact of IPR Regime and Implementation in
Pakistan on FDI" is also planned by PITAD.
Trade and Macro-Economy
Currently, every aspect of Pakistan's economy
is bearing the brunt of war on terror.
Pakistan's exports are no exception. Travel
advisories, supply-side bottlenecks,
are affecting our export competitiveness. The
need is to quantify the costs of war on terror
to our exports and thereby present a strong
case for removal of tariff and non-tariff
barriers imposed by our trading partners.
A study on "Assessing the Socio-Economic Cost of War on Terror on
Pakistan's Economy and Textiles Exports"
has been initiated in PITAD.