United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai joined Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar in Washington, D.C. in a discussion on gender equity and equality and women’s economic empowerment during the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council meeting.
They affirmed a mutual commitment to advancing programs and policies that elevate women’s role in Pakistan’s long-term economic growth. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the Trade Representative and the Minister for Commerce recognised the importance of women for sustainable economic growth and expressed their support for inclusive supply chains and supplier diversity.
They noted that integration of Pakistan’s women-owned businesses into value chains will be critical to promote competitiveness and supply chain resilience and expressed their intent to support upcoming training programmes for women-owned businesses and corporate buyers led by WEConnect International.
Minister Qamar conveyed that the Commerce Ministry and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) are both committed to boosting women’s business enterprises and, to this end, two trade fairs are being organized this year. HER HUNAR, a sales network for handicrafts made by women, in collaboration with USAID, will include 120-130 women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), focusing on the northern region of Pakistan to increase supplier diversity.
During the 18th Organization of Islamic Cooperation Trade fair, 56 member states will participate to promote women entrepreneurs. Underscoring the value of networks for success, the two countries expressed their intent to create mentorship and education opportunities for women workers and entrepreneurs. Ambassador Tai and Minister Qamar highlighted their successful collaboration through the Pakistan Million Women Mentors Initiative, and both countries expressed their intent to strengthen the US-Pakistan Women’s Council and other women’s economic empowerment forums as a mechanism to exchange lessons learned between private sector and civil society and increase representation across the workforce. Minister Syed Naveed Qamar highlighted the Women Entrepreneurship Development Plan, introduced by TDAP and the Ministry of Commerce, which aims to strengthen women’s business skills through extensive training. USTR and the Ministry of Commerce recognized the structural social and economic barriers to gender equity and equality.
Source: The News