ECC approves formation of National Export Development Board: Dawood

Agreement signed GIZ for improvement of labour, social and environmental standards in Pakistan’s textile industry

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet had approved the formation of a National Export Development Board (NEDB).

The board will be chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan and will also include ministers, exporters, investors and the business community, the adviser said this on his official twitter account.

He said that the NEDB became the main forum to discuss the strategy, incentives and removal of business hurdles. To keep the momentum of our value-added exports, ECC in its meeting held on Wednesday approved import of Cotton and Cotton Yarn from India, including land route, he said.

The adviser said that this would now be placed before the Cabinet for approval, after which it would be notified. The ECC, however, deferred the decision on Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2020-25.

Meanwhile Ministry of Commerce and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany signed an Implementation Agreement in pursuance of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier signed between Economic Affairs Division (EAD) on behalf of Pakistan and Germany on December 23, 2020 in which the foreign country agreed to support two projects and one is on “improvement of Labor, Social and Environmental Standards in Pakistan’s Textile Industry (TextILES)”.

According to officials under this programme, the Federal Republic of Germany would provide GIZ up-to Euro 7,500,000 as German contribution for a period of three years. The signing ceremony was attended by Dawood, Dr Sohail Rajpoot, special secretary, Ministry of Commerce, from Pakistan’s side and Romina Kochius, principal adviser GIZ, from Germany.

As per the details, the technical cooperation on this project aims to increase value-addition and competitiveness, and foster innovation by synergizing the environmental, social, and economic dimension of sustainability in the textiles and apparel industry. The outcome of project would be to support digitisation of Labour and Human Resource Department’s (LHRD) downstream institutions like Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI), formulation and implementation of measures to ensure sustainable production, transform 15-20 companies who made use of good environmental practices, innovative technologies or labor standards to move to higher value addition or entered new markets, initiate two campaigns on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) particularly for SMEs to achieve international certification in labor and environmental standards.

Dawood met Romina and appreciated the government of Germany and her for the valuable support in respect of technical cooperation to Pakistan’s textiles and apparel industry in order to improve labour conditions, compliance standards and resource efficiency. The ceremony ended with notes of thanks from both sides.

Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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