European Union supports Training on Trade in Agriculture for Pakistani officials
Under the EU-funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme, a two day training course on Trade in Agriculture was held on 10th and 11th June 2013 at Lahore. The training course was jointly conducted by International Trade Centre (ITC) and Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) in collaboration with the Departments of agriculture, Industries, Commerce and Investment of Punjab with technical assistance from the Switzerland based World Trade Institute (WTI).
The training was delivered by master trainer from Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Mr. Nauman Aslam who was supported by his mentor Dr. Christian Haberlie from WTI through video conference. Dr. Ali Qazilbash from TRTA II programme and an expert from National Animal Plant Health and Inspection Services (NAPHIS) also delivered lectures on the SPS controls and the draft law on food safety developed under the TRTA II programme.
The purpose of the training course was to build the capacity of the officers working in various ministries and government departments regarding the importance of Trade in Agriculture. The training focused at the domestic conditions affecting agriculture productivity, impact of liberalization on international trade in agriculture, food security, etc. Particular attention was given to investment related issues and multilateral negotiations in agriculture.
Mr. Sajid Hussain Director General PITAD stressed the need to develop expertise on trade in Agriculture to benefit from the vast opportunities presented by multilateral trading system. He emphasized the need to understand the global trading system by policy makers and the private sector. The productivity enhancement is required to offset the impact of subsidies provided by the developed countries.
Mr. Mohammad Owais Khan Programme Officer International Trade Centre introduced the EU funded TRTA II programme and highlighted the assistance provided by ITC for local training and research organizations to build their institutional capacity.
More than sixty government officers and researchers from federal government, ministries, implementing agencies, provincial departments and research organizations participated.
Participants were awarded certificates by Secretary Industries Government of the Punjab Dr. Shujat Ali, and were also provided hard and soft copies of the presentation during two day workshop.
Understanding and application of trade defense laws important to protect domestic industry: Farooq Iftikhar
Understanding and application of trade defense laws under WTO trading system is important to protect nascent domestic industry against unfair trade practices of other countries this was the message given by Mr. Farooq Iftikhar President Lahore Chamber while addressing the closing ceremony of a two days training course on Trade Remedies at Lahore.
The two days training course on implementation and understanding of Trade Remedies was held on 2nd and 3rd July at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry which was organized by PITAD, ITC and departments of Industries, Commerce and Investment and the Lahore Chamber under the EU-funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme (2010-2013). The training was being conducted under ITC implemented Component of the EU funded TRTA II programme which aims at trade policy capacity building of the public sector.
The training was conducted by master trainer Ms. Maliha Quddus supported by her mentor Dr. Gustav Brink from the Switzerland through video conference. Mr. Imran Zia Director National Tariff Commission (NTC) also delivered lectures on some important aspects of trade defence laws and the functions of NTC.
The topics included were antidumping duties agreement, Subsidies and Countervailing duties agreement and the Safeguard Agreement. It also touched the situations under which these agreements could be invoked and the procedures which should be adopted while filing applications against dumping, subsidies and the excessive imports threatening domestic industry.
Mr. Sajid Hussain Director General PITAD stressed the need to develop expertise in trade remedies laws to benefit from the vast opportunities presented by multilateral trading system. He emphasized the need to develop the capacity of policy makers and the private sector in these laws so that domestic industry could be saved from unfair trade practices.
Mr. Farooq Iftikhar President Lahore Chamber of Commerce hailed the capacity building initiatives and informed that there is a need for involvement of private sector in policy making process. He highlighted the stalemate in the DOHA round of WTO negotiations and stressed the need to provide more favorable and conducive business environment to the private sector.
Mr. Mohammad Owais Khan Programme Officer International Trade Centre introduced the EU funded TRTA II programme and role of ITC on undertaking these trainings.He also emphasized the need to develop expertise and capacity in trade defense laws.
More than sixty government officers and researchers from federal government ministries, implementing agencies, provincial departments and research organizations as well as businessmen from Lahore Chamber of Commerce participated in the training to strengthen their capacity regarding trade remedies.
Policy implications of Non-Tariff Measures crucial to understand: DG PITAD
Understanding the policy implications of non-tariff measures is crucial for policy makers and researchers to defend the trade interests of Pakistan; said Mr. Sajid Hussain Director General PITAD while addressing the inaugural session of the two days training course on “Economics and Policy of Non-Tariff Measures” organized at Punjab Civil Officers Mess Lahore under the European Union funded TRTA II programme.
The training course was jointly conducted by ITC and PITAD in association with the Department of Industries, Commerce and Investment Lahore. The training was delivered by master trainer of PITAD, Ministry of Commerce Mr. Shafiq Haider Virk.
Mr. Mohammad Owais Khan Programme Officer ITC stressed the need to develop expertise on NTMs as these measures have assumed greater importance after the establishment of WTO and conclusion of hundreds of bilateral and regional trade agreements. He provided background of the TRTA II programme and ITC involvement in the programme to develop trade related expertise of the stakeholders.
The purpose of the training course was to build the capacity of the officers working in various ministries and government departments regarding the economics and policy of non-tariff measures. The training focused on the difference between NTMs and NTBs and how the NTMs become barriers to trade. It was also focused on the government motives for using the NTMs. The welfare effects of NTMs will be particularly analyzed during the training. Mr. S.M.I. Nayyar, an expert from WTO also addressed the audience on the second day of the NTMs and share his thoughts with the participants.
Seventy government officers and researchers from federal government ministries, implementing agencies, provincial departments and research organizations participated in the training. Participants were distributed certificates on the 2nd day by Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Shujjat Ali, Mr Sajid Hussain DG PITAD and Mr. S.M.I Nayyar WTO expert jointly.
Coherent regulatory regime necessary for attracting foreign investment: Secretary Commerce
A training course was jointly conducted by ITC, Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) and the Ministry of Commerce under ITC implemented Component of the EU funded TRTA II programme on the investment laws in Pakistan was held on 12th September at Serena, Islamabad, training was attended by over eighty participants from public and private sector, besides academics also attended and admitted the use function of the training. The training was delivered by Professor Dr. Julien Chaisse from the University of Hong Kong.
While addressing the inaugural session of the training workshop on Trade and Investment Mr. Qasim Niaz, Secretary Ministry of Commerce emphasized the need to develop better investment policies to attract foreign direct investment. He mentioned that there is a need for sound enforcement of investment regulations to develop confidence of foreign investors. He appreciated the efforts of International Trade Centre (ITC) and PITAD for building capacity of stakeholders in Pakistan on issues related to international trade including investment.
Mr. Sajid Hussain Director General PITAD introduced the EU funded TRTA II programme and highlighted the assistance provided by ITC to local training and research organizations to build their institutional capacity. He flagged the MOU facilitated by ITC between PITAD and the World Trade Institute. He vowed that institutional relationship with ITC will be further cemented to provide technical assistance to Pakistani institutes to enable them to benefit from international trade. He emphasized the need to develop public private partnership for negotiation and implementation of investment agreements. He urged the need to develop the capacity of lawyers and law firms on Investment law and policy.
The training workshop aimed at the capacity building of stakeholders on issues related to Investment, investment management, investment regulations and dispute settlement in Investment treaties. The training particularly focused at the law and policy of investment, scope and standards of International Investment Agreements and different levels of international investment regulations. Particular attention was given to analyze the dispute settlement mechanism and Pakistan’s experience in that connection. More than eighty stakeholders from public and private sector and academia attended the training. Two other workshops of similar nature were also held at Karachi and Lahore on 9th and 10th September, which were attended by more than 170 participants from public and private sector professionals. At Karachi , the seminar was inaugurated by Ms. Rabia Javeria Agha, Secretary TDAP.
Professor Julien Chaisse a renowned scholar from Chinese University of Hong-Kong thoroughly investigated the legal side of the development in particular the changes in bi-lateral and regional FDI regulations and the lessons that could be learned for international investment agreements (IIAS) and the constitution of trading blocks. He lightened on the current position of international disputes / investor claims and the need for existing mechanism to address the issues.
The EU funded TRTA II programme is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in association with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).