THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Barriers against Agricultural Exports from Pakistan: The Role of WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement
There has been growing recognition that Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement can impede trade in agricultural and food products. Pakistan, in particular experiences problems in meeting the SPS requirements of developed countries and, it is claimed, this can seriously impede its ability to export agricultural and food products. Attempts have been made to reduce the trade distortive effects of SPS measures through, for example, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) SPS Agreement, although it is claimed that current initiatives fail to address many of the key problems experienced by Pakistan and other developing countries. The present paper explores implications of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement on exports of agricultural and food products from Pakistan. It identifies the problems that Pakistan faces in meeting SPS requirements and how these relate to the nature of SPS measures and the compliance resources available to Government of Pakistan and the supply chain. The paper examines the impact of SPS agreement on the extent to which SPS measures impede exports from Pakistan. It identifies the problems that limit participation of Pakistan in the SPS agreement and its concerns about the way in which it currently operates.