On 27 July 2009, the Pakistani Minister of Commerce unveiled the contours of the Strategic Trade Policy Framework for 2009 - 2012. According to the speech, the government seeks to expand Pakistan's export product range in the medium term. To do so, the government has identified certain promising sectors. These are said to be the nation's chemical sector, pharamaceuticals, meat and meat products, agro-processed exports, leather and leather products, the mineral sector, gems and jewlery and services.
Besides the short-term measures listed below, the government plans to set up a variety of funds to promot such goals as the channeling of public investment to promising sectors, hedge business against short- and medium-term interest rate risk as well as the improvement of management skills, product development and marketing.
The following measures may affect international commerce:
- To strenghten export competitiveness, the government seeks to compensate inland freight cost to exporters of "cement, light engineering, leather garments, furniture, soda ash, hydrogen peroxide, sanitary wares including tiles, finished marble/ granite/ onyx products."
- To help designated sectors receive higher prices for their goods, the government will support brand development activities for "surgical instruments, sports goods & cutlery" with grants worth 25 percent of cost.
- To support the textile industry, import duties on sizing chemicals may be abolished.
- To promote the export of live sea food, the government has decided to grant 25 percent of freight cost to such products exported by air.
- To support exports of processed foods, the government wants to compensate exporters partially for necessary research and development investments. This reimbursement could amount to 6 percent of export value.
- To allow its exporters to enter Muslim markets, the government plans to set up a Halal Certification Board. The cost of certification shall be subsidised with up to 50 percent of expenditure.
- To increase international market access for electrical appliances, the government decided to bear half the cost of certification through Underwriters Laboratories.
- In an attempt to increase overall competitiveness, the government promised to "zero rate" exports completely. As the elaboration of such a measure will take time, the government has decided to provide "interim relief to the sectors of tents & canvas, electric machinery, carpets, rugs and mats, sports goods, footwear, surgical/ medical/ veterinary/ beauty care instruments, cutlery, onyx products, electric fans, furniture, auto parts, handicrafts, jewelry and pharmaceuticals."
- To reduce the cost of doing business in Pakistan, the government will ease import restrictions on designated specialized machinery, transport equipment as well as spare parts in the construction, waste disposal, oil and petroleum industry.
- To allow improved development of pharmaceutical and engineering services, the government plans to ease export restrictions on the industries.
- To provide lower income citizens with computers, the government has decided to allow the import of used computers. However, to allow for the development of a national television industry, used cathode ray tube monitors may only be imported along with used computers.
- To encourage local vaccine production, the government plans to restrict imports to World Health Organization-approved plants only.