Engineering Post Report
The Trade Policy Review (TPR) is a mandatory exercise which is undertaken by the Trade Policy Review Board of the World Trade Organization (WTO) . The review is undertaken every seven years for Pakistan and engages surveillance of national trade and economic policies from view point of multilateralism.
Pakistan being one of the founding members of WTO has undergone four such reviews in the past and the 5th Trade Policy Review stretched over May 2021 to April 2022.
Main objectives of TPR are to achieve transparency , better undertstanding of the reviewed Member’s trade policies and practices and contributing to improved adherence by all Members to rules, disciplines and commitments made under the Multilateral Trade Agreements. The review culminates into two reports: “Government Report” and “Secretariat Report” which are circulated amongst WTO Members and hence have an international audience.
Federal Ministry of Commerce served as the focal Ministry for entire process and liaised with all public sector stakeholders to respond to all all queries of the TPRB and to compile such reports as are effective to represent the progressive nature of Pakistan’s economic and investment potentials. Scope of the “Secretariat Report” is extensive as it relays detailed analytical information regarding economic environment, trade regime, investment regime, trade policies and practices. “Government Report” comprises of a precise and forward looking statement from the government focusing on future economic policy aims of the country. After extensive data gathering , analysis and inter-ministerial consultations both the reports were duly shared with WTO Secretariat and were also circulated to all theWTO members.
According to the information now available from the official sources concerned in Islamabad, the Reports discussed at concluding meetings of TPRB where all WTO Members duly noted Pakistan’s resilience and effective policies in tackling shocks of COVID-19 and subsequent recovery.
Pakistan was accordingly commended largely for quick implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) . The Members unanimously appreciated Pakistan’s active engagement at the WTO upholding the values and fundamental principles of the WTO and support for developing countries and Pakistan was invited to join other international agreements on various trade pertinent matters for further integration into multilateralism.