Under the EU funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) programme, a two-day training course on “Trade in Agriculture” started in a local hotel here on Monday. The training course is jointly conducted by International Trade Centre (ITC) and Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) in collaboration with the Agriculture Department and Industries, Commerce and Investment Department of Punjab with technical assistance from the Switzerland based World Trade Institute (WTI).
The training is delivered by master trainer from Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Nauman Aslam who is supported by his mentor Dr Christian Haberlie from WTI through video conference. The purpose of the training course is to build the capacity of the officers working in various ministries and government departments regarding the importance of trade in agriculture. The training will focus at the domestic conditions affecting agriculture productivity, impact of liberalisation on international trade in agriculture, food security, etc.
Particular attention will be given to investment related issues and multilateral negotiations in agriculture. The training will give an opportunity to the participants to identify the areas where they can contribute to the domestic regulatory reforms as well as bilateral and multilateral negotiations in the agriculture sector.
Sajid Hussain, Director General PITAD stressed the need to develop expertise on trade in agriculture to benefit from the vast opportunities presented by multilateral trading system. He emphasised the need to develop the capacity of policy makers and the private sector in the supply chain to overcome the effects of subsidies provided by the developed countries. Mohammad Owais Khan, Programme Officer International Trade Centre introduced the EU funded TRTA II programme and highlighted the assistance provided by ITC to local training and research organisations to build their institutional capacity. He flagged the MoU facilitated by ITC between PITAD and the World Trade Institute which has contributed immensely to the capacity building of Pakistani policy makers.
He vowed that ITC will continue to provide technical assistance to Pakistani institutes to enable them to benefit from international trade. More than sixty government officers including officers from research, agriculture information, field, pest warning and extension wings of Agriculture department, researchers from federal government ministries, implementing agencies, provincial departments and research organisations are participating training to strengthen their capacity regarding domestic agricultural productivity and issues related to negotiations and international trade.