WTO team preparing for their visit to Islamabad in September

With a view to consolidate their assessment and examination of Pakistan’s economic performance and trade policy measures, a high level team of the WTO Secretariat is scheduled to visit Islamabad during September this year. The team being led by Mr. Clemens Boonekamp, Director, Trade Policy Division shall comprise of Mr. Sergios Stamnas and Mr. SIM Nayyar.

The visit is in connection with the upcoming trade policy review of Pakistan at the WTO, which is scheduled for 16 – 18 January 2008. The preparatory process generally starts almost a year in advance. As a part of the exercise, the first visit of the WTO experts was held in March 2007, wherein they had the opportunity to exchange views with high ranking officials of the key economic Ministries and relevant government agencies and departments in Islamabad. Availing the opportunity of their presence, the government also organized a capacity building seminar for the TPR related key officials in the capital. The WTO team is in the process of compiling their routine “Secretariat Report” on behalf of the Members of World trade Organization, for their information and update. This is worth mentioning that the draft document of the report has already been prepared by the Secretariat and shared with the host government for views and comments of the relevant authorities in Pakistan. This report shall however be finalized after the upcoming visit of the WTO experts to Islamabad this September.

Trade Policy Review Mechanism is one of the major functions of the WTO. The mechanism provides for reviewing the top four global traders (currently EU, US, Japan and China) every two years, the next sixteen every four years, and the remaining Member states every six years.