`Look Africa' plan prepared to boost trade

ISLAMABAD - The government has prepared a comprehensive policy plan `Look Africa' to give priority to the region including Senegal for enhancement of Pak-Africa trade.

The Policy Plan has been prepared by Ministry of Commerce in consultation with its allied departments. Pakistan attaches high importance to its trade relations with Africa. However, the volume of bilateral trade is below from its potential.

Sources at Commerce and Textile Division, while listing  steps taken to increase trade relations with Africa, especially Senegal since June 2013, said inaugural session of Pak-Senegal JMC was held in July this year at Dakar, Senegal in which important decisions were made by both sides to increase trade volume between the two countries.

Ministry of Commerce (MoC) facilitated signing of MoU on establishment of Joint Business Council (JBC) between Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) and Union of Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Agriculture of Senegal with hope to enhance interaction and cooperation between private sectors of both countries on sidelines of JMC.

Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has relaxed the hospitality criteria for delegates from African countries including Senegal to attract more delegates and to ensure better participation from Africa in the upcoming Expo Pakistan 2017 to be held from November 9-12, 2017.

TDAP/MoC will arrange Priority Africa for trade seminars in major cities of Pakistan and it will provide special subsidy (80-90%) to Pakistani companies to encourage their participation in trade exhibitions in Africa including Senegal. TDAP will sponsor delegations to and from Africa on regular basis.

The sources said Pakistan and Senegal agreed to address difficulties of trade between two countries; the Pakistan side has sought Senegal's support to establish a trade partnership with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

Pakistani side proposed to Senegalese side in JMC meeting the establishment of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on trade with view of planning, implementing and monitoring plans and objectives in this area. The composition of JWG on trade from Pakistan side has been shared with Senegal. Moreover, TDAP will participate in Dakar International Trade Fair to be held in December, 2017 to showcase Pakistan's Products.

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