Pakistan: Speeding up trade

Author: Allen Dennis
Publication: Celebrating Reforms 2007
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Trading across borders is now easier in Pakistan, thanks to its recent reforms in which reformers learned from past mistakes. In 2003, the reform strategy was to implement the short-term, less costly, quick-win reforms immediately while preparing the ground for the medium to long-term reforms, which were perhaps more complex and costly. This strategy paid off.

Among Pakistan’s successful quick wins was simplifying the documents required for trading—a simple administrative decision with very powerful consequences. Traders needed to submit only 1 document, the Pakistan Goods Declaration. Other trade reforms followed. This case study tracks Pakistan’s multi-year road to reform.

Main Findings

  • Customs clearance at the Karachi international container terminal dropping from 10 days in 2004 to 4 hours in 2007.
  • Customs revenues are also up, from 115 billion rupees to 138 billion, despite a reduction in tariffs.