Pakistan WE-NET & USAID – Women Leadership in Trade Policy

Pakistan WE-NET in collaboration with USAID – PREIA (Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity) organized a workshop on Women Leadership in Trade Policy in Islamabad on August 8, 2018. The workshop explored the benefits of trade for women businesses, whilst sharing knowledge on business development in international markets. The workshop featured representatives from corporate and SME sectors with diverse experience and knowledge. The session had a diverse representation of women entrepreneurs from several cities including Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Karachi, Mandi Bahaudin, Jhelum and Peshawar.

The session began with welcome remarks from Yasmin Hyder, President, Pakistan WE-NET and Hussan-Bano Burki, Chief of Party USAID PREIA. Hussan-Bano thanked the WE-NET team for their contribution to women’s economic empowerment and discussed upcoming projects of PREIA aimed to benefit Pakistani women. Yasmin Hyder discussed the benefits of engaging in international trade and examined the current situation of Pakistan’s export market as well as its accompanying challenges.

Roubina Taufiq Shah, Former DG Trade Dispute Resolution Organization, Director (Admin), CPEC Center for Excellence, discussed the ‘Impact of Trade Policy’. Her session highlighted the current challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and measures that need to be taken to address such challenges faced in macro-level trade policy reforms. An advanced module on ‘Strategic Trade Policy Framework’ followed this session, which provided an overview of STPF reforms specific to women entrepreneurs. Roubina stressed the need for women to educate themselves about trade policy in order to become effective agents of change. Roubina also highlighted the need for women chambers and associations to educate themselves on trade policy matters so as to become significant contributors to future trade policy frameworks.

Qashif Effendi, CEO, Reem Rice delivered a talk on marketing and branding for international markets. Qashif provided an overview of Pakistan’s international trade performance and through case studies, illustrated the importance and significance of branding while competing in global markets.

The session was well received by participants who expressed an interest in more detailed workshops regarding trade policy. The workshop also featured notable guest speakers who shared their personal experience of scaling up and competing in international markets. Guest speakers included Myra Qureshi (CEO, Co-Natural), Sapna Kavita Oberoi (Partner, Oberoi Traders) Farzeen Irtazaz (CEO, House of Rani Emaan) and Lubna Farooq (Board Member, Pakistan WE-NET).