Pakistan remains among the least regionally integrated countries in South Asia – with limited connectivity with India, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Given the rapidly changing geo-political environment in the region, the country’s political leadership desires enhanced trade and investment volumes with neighboring economies as a policy priority. The prospects for South Asian regional integration and further connectivity with the western and central Asian economies have gained significant momentum over the past few years.

This led to a common interest between Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the World Bank to launch in 2015 a new PFSA Window, Pakistan: Trade and Investment Policy Program (P-TIPP). The overall objective of P-TIPP would be to support Pakistan’s efforts to increase regional trade and investment, with a special focus on strengthening links to other Asian countries. This initiative would support Pakistan’s policy and institutional structure to significantly increase regional trade volumes by the end of the program.

This would be accomplished through implementation of a focused advisory services program with knowledge generation and technical support aimed at: improving the overall policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks for regional (and global) trade in goods and services; directly strengthening trade and investment links between Pakistan and her neighbors leading to increased economic integration in the region as a whole; and improving the quality of trade facilitation in terms of reducing time, cost and documentation for cargo clearance at border posts.

 

Increasing Regional Trade and Investment in Pakistan / Photo Credit: Tomas Sennett / World Bank
Increasing Regional Trade and Investment in Pakistan

 Photo Credit: Tomas Sennett / World Bank