The 4th Trade Policy review Pakistan was held on 24th and 26 March2015 at the WTO, secretariat in Geneva. The Pakistan delegation was led by Secretary Commerce Mr. Muhammad Shehzad Arbab including several senior officials from National Tariff Commission, Federal Board of Revenue, Finance, State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan Customs, and the Pakistan Mission to the WTO.
This 4th review of the Trade Policy of Pakistan received a large audience from WTO member countries; twenty four delegations made statements at the first day of the TPR, and more than 200 written questions were received.
Pakistan has been praised for the resilience of its economy which despite facing several challenges posted a real GDP growth of +4.14% which is projected to reach 5.1% by the end of fiscal year 2014-2015. Member countries commended Pakistan ambition to increase its exports by $ 95 billion and become an upper income country by 2025, including implementation of all the reforms undertaken under the Strategic Trade Policy Framework.
The transition to democracy was recognized by the WTO members as an important element to the country’s progression towards a market economy.
However, members highlighted some policy challenges that need to be addressed if Pakistan wants to sustain its growth in line with the WTO commitments.
Chair person, HE Ambassador Paparizov summed up the policies reforms required as “improving the business climate, further liberalizing the trade regime and ensuring its predictability, reducing state intervention in the economy, providing adequate infrastructure facilities especially those related to the power sector, and improving the fiscal situation by broadening the tax base”
At the conclusion of its 4th TPR, Pakistan received a lot of support and encouragement from the Members to continue with the reforms as highlighted in vision 2025.