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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has launched a dedicated women’s helpline (021-111-111-779) to provide guidance and support to women traders and entrepreneurs using the PSW system and its allied components for imports, exports, and trade regulatory requirements.

The dedicated phone line will provide female entrepreneurs accelerated access to the PSW Trader Support Centre and help them get information on cross-border trade-related laws, procedures, and requirements, guidance on how to navigate the PSW system and its various modules, report technical glitches or training issues and help troubleshoot problems.

As the leading public sector entity responsible for the digital transformation of cross-border trade and the notified operator of the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) system, PSW is cognizant of the need for, and the importance of, enhancing women’s participation in cross-border trade through gender-responsive trade facilitation measures and is working on various initiatives aimed at maximizing the benefits for women involved in cross-border trade.

A statement released from the office of PSW CEO Syed Aftab Haider, stated “­­­­­­­­­­ The initiative is part of PSW’s effort to increase its outreach to women entrepreneurs’ and women-led businesses who face challenges in connecting to the global economy due to gender-related barriers. Digitization of customs and trade-related procedures offer special opportunities for women-owned businesses to overcome these barriers, get better access to information and business opportunities, and leverage technology for enhancing export competitiveness.”

Women across the globe are engaged in cross border trade of goods and services as producers, traders, entrepreneurs, and service providers. Modern research suggests that contrary to popular belief, trade is not gender-neutral. Cross-border trade has a gender-differentiated impact on employment, wages, financial independence, and economic empowerment. Realizing the importance of integrating women and women-owned businesses into the global trade ecosystem for achieving productivity and economic growth, many countries are increasingly introducing and adopting measures that expand the benefits of trade to women. Not only do these measures are envisaged to contribute to women’s empowerment and economic growth but are also recognized as a source of increasing entrepreneurial diversity in a range of economic contexts.

PSW also intends to launch the ‘Khadija - Women Entrepreneurship Program’ in December 2022 to build on the ongoing efforts by the Government of Pakistan to enhance women’s economic empowerment and promote gender equality. The program will be a platform for increased participation of women in cross-border trade and will provide an effective and sustained mechanism for training and capacity building of women entrepreneurs and traders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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