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    Pakistan's Pride in Exporters


    International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2005, © International Trade Centre

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    At ITC's Executive Forum, Trade Forum interviewed Tariq Puri, currently Pakistan's Economic Minister to the European Communities in Brussels and formerly Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Pakistan's Export Promotion Bureau.

    Q: Why did you develop this series of trade stamps?

    A: Pakistan was slowly inching towards the US$ 10 billion mark in exports, but had not reached it when I became Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Pakistan's Export Promotion Bureau in 2002. By global standards this may not be a huge figure, but for us it was a signifi cant landmark. As we were approaching this fi gure, we set in motion a campaign to celebrate the achievement. The Prime Minister organized an international seminar, attended by foreign experts, to discuss and highlight the various aspects of export-led growth.

    We wanted to encourage a culture of export-led growth in Pakistan's economy. We were proud of our exporters and wanted to show both the general public and potential exporters how important the role of exporters is in our economy.

    Q: So the stamps were part of a broader export promotion campaign?

    A: Yes. Th is series of 19 export promotion stamps was just one part of the campaign to create awareness and recognize exporters for their contribution to the country. It was an exciting time. We commissioned ads in major national newspapers to congratulate and acknowledge our exporters. We recognized the role played by those sectors which reached the US$ 1 billion level and designated them as the "billion dollar club". In our biggest event, in the presence of our President, we raised a container into the air with fl ags of all the countries where Pakistan is exporting. Th is impressive ceremony was held at Pakistan's major port at Karachi.

    Q: How did you develop the concepts for the stamps?

    A: For the stamps, as for other parts of the campaign, we engaged an advertising fi rm, but I found myself contributing a great deal in terms of designs and slogans late into the night. It is often diffi cult to send out a crisp and clear message, as we discovered during this campaign; the storyboard was clichéd. Finally, we succeeded in conveying the strategic communication in an eff ective manner.

    Q: What lesson would you draw from this experience?

    A: Be clear in communicating the substance of your campaign and back it with research when you brief those who are contributing to the campaign. In our case, that meant profi ling the export sectors that contributed to raising Pakistan's exports to US$ 10 billion and beyond. 

    For more information, contact Tariq Puri (contact@tariqpuri.com ).

    Natalie Domeisen heads communications at ITC. Stamp research:Marilyn Langfeld, Kobie Yeboah-Konadu, Sung-Ah Lee. Universal Postal Union stamp database:http://www.wnsstamps.ch/en