Unilateral trade liberalization in Pakistan

I stumbled upon this presentation in a forum organized by the Policy Research Institute for Market Economy (PRIME) based in Islamabad, Pakistan. PRIME is headed by a friend, Ali Salman. Good event, Ali.


The paper discussed Pakistan’s experience of 3 phases of trade liberalisation:

  1. Unilateral Trade Liberalisation Period (1990-2002)
  2. Policy Neutral Period (2003-2005)
  3. Trade Policy Mix: From Bilateral and Regional Liberalisation to Trade Restrictions (2006 onwards).

Some data.

A different definition of unilateral liberalization, “liberalisation from below”, good nonetheless. For me, unilateral liberalization means no need for negotiations, just one-way liberalization, that very often builds confidence and reciprocal liberalization by other trade partners. Examples of HK, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand unilateral lib. But I digress.


Good advocacy by PRIME. Unlike in South East Asia though, economies in South Asia including Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, the pace of liberalization is rather slow. Nonetheless, slow liberalization is better than continued protectionism.


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