ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood on Wednesday asked relevant stakeholders to reduce dwelling time of cargo handling at ports to facilitate trade.
The direction came from the adviser while chairing a meeting on the country’s transshipment potential at the Ministry of Commerce. The meeting was attended by representatives of relevant ministries and Federal Board of Revenue.
At the moment, port charges and inefficiencies resulting in more time in cargo handling are the major issues, the adviser pointed out, adding these needs to be resolved to improve the operations.
Dawood said the government can play the role of a facilitative regulator, providing a flexible environment to boost the transshipment industry as per the available potential.
“There is a lot of potential for transshipment in Pakistan which can be exploited with the right policies and government support,” he added.
Talking about the importance of the strategic location of Pakistan, the adviser said that Gwadar port can act as a sister port to a number of other important ports in the region, which can complement each other in transshipment activities.
He further emphasised that Pakistan can reach its true potential of transshipment when China, Afghanistan and other Central Asian economies are connected with Gwadar through land routes.
Considering different policy recommendations, the adviser noted that a little value addition can be beneficial in promoting and improving the transshipment industry. He asked the stakeholders to consider the recommendations and resolve the identified issues for the benefit of ports and shipping industry in Pakistan.
Various steps for maximising transshipment potential were also discussed. It was emphasised that by streamlining the government procedures and by implementing the TIR Convention-International Transport of Goods, there can be tremendous benefits to the economy of Pakistan.'
Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2020