ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Monday highlighted the importance of taking full advantage of new opportunities emerging out of the global economic recovery after it was hit hard by the Covid-19 during the last two years.
Addressing the launching ceremony of Pakistan Single Window (PSW), one of the ambitious, wide-ranging and comprehensive reform initiatives undertaken in the public sector in the recent years, the adviser said during the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic had badly affected the global supply chain and trade, whereas the cost of production and shipping had also gone up.
The world economy is recovering now and the business activities would not only resume but would also grow at a much faster pace, so there is a dire need to take advantage of this opportunity, he said.
“The worst seems to be over and as economies begin to recover globally, we expect [the] business activity to resume and, in fact, grow at a much faster pace,” Tarin said, adding: “Pakistan and its businesses have to be ready for taking advantage of [the] new opportunities.”
Talking about the Pakistan Single Window, he said, it would not only facilitate international trade but would also help accelerate digital transformation of the public sector agencies connected to international trade.
PSW was in line with the vision of the government to promote competitiveness, transparency and efficiency, the adviser said and lauded Pakistan Customs for leading this initiative.
It was the priority of the government to facilitate businesses, including small and medium sized, by providing a suitable enabling environment for growth and innovation and improving their competitiveness by reducing their cost and time for doing business, he said.
Tarin expected that the single window would provide a comparative advantage to Pakistani businesses and trading community to enter in new markets to enhance exports.
The adviser said PSW would further boost regional connectivity through the effective use of technologies, ensuring enhanced facilitation of trade across borders.
Besides, the adviser said, it would also help counter financial crimes and trade-based money laundering through integration of international shipping and databases and eventually enable seamless connection in dissemination of information to the Customs, the State Bank of Pakistan and other relevant agencies.
Tarin lauded the efforts of development partners, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Usaid and IFC for providing technical assistance and support to the Pakistan Single Window.
The business community was also an active partner of PSW, he said and expressed the hope that it would continue support to make PSW more robust and help in its evolution to cater to the needs of the businesses.
The government was committed to take all possible measures to facilitate legitimate business and promote the business environment, the adviser said, adding that the business community also had the responsibility to play its due role for the development of the homeland.
The government was actively pursuing the agenda to make Pakistan a hub for regional trade and transit and realise the full impact of Pakistan’s geostrategic and geo-economic location.
In this regard, the major milestone was achieved by the operationalisation of “Transports Internationaux Routiers” (TIR) agreement and dispatch of transit consignments to Uzbekistan and Turkey, he added.