EU - Pakistan sign Trade-related Technical Assistance programme
Sumario: February 19, 2004: EU - Pakistan sign agreement for a EUR 6.5 million Trade-related Technical Assistance programme (Brussels)
In Islamabad yesterday Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations signed, on behalf of the European Union, an agreement financing a co-operation programme on Trade-related Technical Assistance for Pakistan. The EU will contribute €5,000,000 to the three-year programme which has a total budget of €6,511,000. The overall objective of the programme is to assist Pakistan by fostering its integration into the world economy and, ultimately, to alleviate poverty
by creating the trade conditions for stable economic growth. Mr. Humayun Akhtar Khan, Minister of Commerce, signed for the Government of Pakistan which is contributing € 1,111,000.
Speaking in Islamabad, Commissioner Patten said "Pakistan is changing fast. Impressive progress in key sectors of the economy, mean its core industries are ready to compete in the world market. Europe wants to help Pakistan take its place in the global economy, and this package is designed to do just that".
The programme has three main components:
- Building the capacity of Pakistan stakeholders, notably government officials and private sector representatives, in WTO trade negotiations;
- Increasing the export competitiveness of key sectors, such as textiles and fisheries, by improving Pakistan structure on standards and quality control;
- Support in the field of intellectual property rights IPR) and the upgrading of the relevant IPR institutes in Pakistan.
The timing of the proposed assistance is of particular relevance to Pakistan as the quota system under the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing will cease to exist on 1 January 2005. The lifting of the quota system will create new trading opportunities for large textiles exporting countries such as Pakistan.
At present there is limited awareness among stakeholders of the implications of the WTO Agreements and of the opportunities and challenges of the world trading system. The purpose of the programme is therefore to enhance awareness among Government officials, the business sector and civil society about the implications of numerous WTO Agreements on the economy of the country, and to assist Pakistan in building the necessary capacity to address issues resulting from its participation in the
The programme will be implemented in co-operation with the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC), which will contribute some € 200,000 to the initiative, as well as with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), which will contribute around € 200,000.
The EU is Pakistan's main trading partner absorbing close to 1/3 of Pakistan's exports. Main EU import items from Pakistan are textiles and agricultural products while Pakistan imports machinery and equipment. Between 1995 and 2002, EU imports from Pakistan increased by around 50%.
In order to facilitate developing countries access to the EU market, the EU has recently launched a Helpdesk for exporters from developing countries:
The Expanding Exports Helpdesk provides relevant information required by developing country exporters interested in supplying the EU market.
For further information:
The EU's relations with Pakistan - Overview:
About the programme: please contact Mireille Perrin Decorzent at the Delegation of the European Commission in Islamabad (Tel: +220.127.116.118 ext.250).
- Ref: EC04-023EN
- Fuente UE: Comisión Europea
- Foro NU:
- Fecha: 19/2/2004
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