Livestock and dairy products: concrete policies needed to enhance competitiveness, export: official
November 30, 2012
Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce Fazal Abbas Mekan has stressed the need for putting in place concrete policies for enhancing competitiveness and the export potential of livestock and dairy products. He was speaking at a Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on “Enhancing Competitiveness and Export Potential of Livestock and Dairy Sector” arranged here on Thursday by the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) Ministry of Commerce.
Stakeholders from public and private sector and civil society discussed policy recommendations and domestic regulatory reform for enhancing competitiveness and export potential of Livestock and Dairy sectors of Pakistan. The event was organized under the European Union Funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme. The Additional Secretary further said that after the devolution of agriculture and livestock to the provinces, there was a need for the Ministry of Commerce to work together with the provincial livestock departments and other stakeholders to introduce domestic regulatory reforms for enhancing the exports of the two sectors. He appreciated the efforts of the ITC and PITAD for organising a dialogue on such an important aspect of the trade policy.
Former Senior Vice President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdul Basit, Anjum Saleem of Pakistan Dairy Association (PAD), Tahir Maqsood, Director General Pakistan Institute for Trade and Development, Nauman Aslam Director TDAP, Muhammad Owais Khan, International Trade Centre, Islamabad and experts of the relevant field took part in the discussion and expressed their views regarding improvement and uplift in the export competitiveness of the livestock and dairy sector.
The technical session was undertaken where policy recommendations for domestic regulatory reforms from two separate studies on livestock and dairy sectors conducted for the PPD were presented before the invited stakeholders. The technical session was chaired by Fazal Abbas Mekan Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce. The Panel members, from relevant private sector Associations, Chambers of Commerce and Government organisations expressed their views on the possible reform process.
Open house discussions among the invited participants also took place in which representatives of the Federal Government Ministries, implementing agencies, provincial departments, Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, individual firms, independent research organisations and Academia discussed the issues being faced by the selected sectors and possible policy reforms to overcome them. The public private dialogue would result in concrete policy proposals for enhancing competitiveness and export potential in identified sectors which would be formally submitted to the federal and provincial governments for potential implementation.
Participants stressed for a holistic approach to capitalise the export potential of the Pakistani livestock sector with integrated aligned policies, capacity building of the farmers, and the people involved in the supply chain, which start from breeding to slaughtering and export. Unfortunately, linkages among various public, private sectors in the livestock sector have not been established which has hindered tapping the export potential of the Pakistani livestock sector, the fourth largest, milk producing country in the world.
As other businesses are facing competitiveness issues with tight profit margins, the dairy sector still offers great opportunities to investors and market players to undertake farming projects and earn high returns on their investments. The TRTA II program is about trade policy capacity building and is implemented by the ITC. A fifteen member public private dialogue steering committee (PPDSC) constituted under the Component-I of the TRTA II programme selected trade in the Livestock and Dairy sector for public private consultation earlier this year so that a coherent and inclusive policy is debated and put in place for Pakistan.
Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce Fazal Abbas Mekan in the concluding session, replying to a comment made by a participant about the creation of livestock sector agency to resolve the problems faced by sector, mentioned that the livestock ministry and various departments were already working to look after the needs of the sector. However, he admitted that some issues of co-ordination were missing due to the rules and regulations which should be addressed to boost the sector.