Seminar on ’regional trade, economic connectivity’ held

Islamabad: A seminar on “Regional Trade and Economic Connectivity” was held by the Ministry of Commerce Thursday. It was attended by representatives of both public and private sectors. While inaugurating the seminar Federal Secretary for Commerce, Zafar Mehmood stated that the promotion of regional trade is a priority of the Government and the Prime Minister of Pakistan has declared the Year 2012 as the “Year of Regional Trade and Economic Connectivity.”

He further highlighted the strategic importance of Pakistan and the role Pakistan can play as an economic hub for landlocked Central Asian Republics (CARS). He also touched upon the trade normalization process with India, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC). He further stated that this seminar is the first in the series of seminars, which will be organized over the next year including one in February 2012 to develop further coordination among the stakeholders.

The Director General of Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development gave a presentation on trade performance of Pakistan and regional trade initiatives i.e. South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA),

ECOTA, ASEAN, and GCC. A presentation was also given by the Ministry of Communications about the road infrastructure and road agreements that are in progress and operationalized. Presentations were also given on the role of the private sector, freight forwarding and logistics, and on trade and transport facilitation.

In his closing remarks, Federal Secretary for Commerce, Zafar Mehmood stated that this seminar and other seminars to come will play a very positive role to eliminate the disconnect between different departments in formulating a long lasting and comprehensive strategy for integration in the region.

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