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    2008年1月WTO对巴基斯坦贸易政策审议-主席总结发言(英)

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    TRADE POLICY REVIEW: PAKISTAN

    16 and 18 January 2008

    Concluding remarks by the Chairperson



     


    This third Trade Policy Review of Pakistan has considerably improved our understanding of trade and related policy developments since 2002 and the challenges Pakistan faces in sustaining, and indeed improving, its economic growth. I am grateful to the Federal Minister of Commerce Shazada Alam Monnoo and Ambassador Manzoor Ahmad and their delegation, the Discussant, Ambassador Karen Tan of Singapore, as well as Members for contributing to the TPRB meeting's useful exchange of views. Pakistan's response to the large number of questions is also much appreciated.

    Members expressed their regret over recent events in Pakistan and the hope that these would not adversely affect Pakistan's economic development and prosperity. They commended Pakistan for its impressive economic performance, the decline in the unemployment rate, poverty reduction, its improved ranking in the UN human development index, and also for becoming a more outward-oriented economy. They recognized that economic fundamentals had improved, but also pointed to the challenges posed by the persistent structural weaknesses, low tax collection, current account deficits, lack of export diversification, and political uncertainty. Despite widespread praise for Pakistan's generally liberal investment regime and increased FDI inflows, certain Members expressed concern over persisting impediments, including procedural complexities.

    Members commended Pakistan's active role in the multilateral trading system and particularly its contribution to the Doha Round negotiations, notably to trade facilitation, NAMA, agriculture, services and TRIPS areas. Several Members noted Pakistan's increased participation in regional and bilateral trade agreements.

    Although Members praised Pakistan's recent tariff-related achievements, they observed that its complex customs tariff and the gap between average bound and applied MFN tariff rates caused uncertainty for its trading partners; thus, they urged Pakistan to simplify its tariff and reduce the gap. Certain Members commended the measures taken to improve customs automation and streamline customs procedures. On the other hand, there were some areas of concern, including customs valuation practices, the use of “regulatory duties”, anti-dumping measures and certain types of trade restrictions, where Pakistan was encouraged to make improvements. Certain Members expressed concern over the impact of export taxes and multiple tax and non-tax incentives, with the latter possibly favouring local content. Others urged Pakistan to notify its export and agriculture assistance schemes.

    Several Members commended Pakistan's efforts to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, although concern was expressed over deficiencies in certain areas (e.g., trade marks, patent protection, book piracy). Some Members encouraged legislative amendments and further transparency in government procurement as well as reduced state-ownership in the economy.

    Several Members praised reforms in the financial and telecommunications sectors and encouraged Pakistan to further liberalize other services; some of them urged improved GATS commitments in certain services activities (e.g., transportation).

    This Review has been most informative and has afforded many useful insights into Pakistan's trade policies as well as the challenges it faces. I would once again like to thank the Pakistani delegation, the discussant, and Members for contributing to an enlightening two days of discussions. We look forward to receiving Pakistan's responses to outstanding questions within the next month.