The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), which was established on November 8, 2006, under a Presidential Ordinance, shall have Ministry of Commerce as its administrative ministry. TDAP is the successor organization to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and is mandated to have a holistic view of global trade development rather than only the ‘export promotion’ perspective of its predecessor. Designated as the premier trade organization of the country, TDAP shall be a dedicated, effective, and an empowered organization, which shall be professionally managed.
The Export Promotion Bureau, in Retrospect
Set up in 1963 as an attached department of the Ministry of Commerce, the Export Promotion Bureau facilitated exporters across the country. More than 20,000 exporters were facilitated and part-funded to exhibit their goods abroad, and thus grow their exports. Over 2,000 trade delegations were sent abroad or hosted in Pakistan in the 43 years of EPB. It provided a forum for dispute resolution between exporters and importers through the mechanism of commercial courts in collaboration with the judiciary.
EPB thus contributed in a significant manner, as Pakistan’s exports – reported at just under quarter of a billion dollars in 1963 – increased by over 70 times to touch nearly US $ 16.5 billion in 2005/06. However, professional human resources were lacking at the times of EPB, and so in order to improve this deficiency, and to change the image of EPB as a “Bureaucratic Organization”, need was felt for EPB’s metamorphosis into a more dynamic, professionally well-equipped organization, which was to be the TDAP.