April 24, 2019 (MLN): The National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that China has extended duty free access to Pakistan on three hundred and thirteen items under the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing.
Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood told the house that China has agreed to provide Pakistan market access on the pattern of Association of South East Asian Nations. He was confident that the second phase of FTA with China will prove to be beneficial for Pakistan.
He said that the present government has enhanced regulatory duty on finished products in order to cut imports. As a result of these measures, imports witnessed reduction of 3.5 billion dollars over the last nine to ten months. He said we also aim to bolster our exports which will help us reduce the trade deficit.
The Commerce Adviser said that a textile policy is being formulated with the aim to enhance exports of textile related items. He said the textile division has been coordinating with over one hundred textile related institutes, textiles, associations and chambers of commerce and industry for taking their input for the policy. The policy will take into account all the different aspects of textile industry and will come up with cogent proposals for the problems faced by the industry, he added.
Parliamentary Secretary for Overseas Pakistanis Javaria Zafar told the house that a policy is being finalized for promotion of overseas employment. She said Pakistan has signed MoUs in the fields of manpower and employment with Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Oman and Malaysia. Efforts are being made to sign the MoUs with Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and other potential labour receiving countries. She said that a special task force has also been constituted to work towards the welfare of expatriate Pakistanis.
Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce, Shandana Gulzar Khan said that Pakistan’s exports to India had shrunk significantly after the Pulwama incident due to imposition of two hundred percent duties on Pakistani products by the Indian government. She said Pakistan used to export ninety eight percent of its dried dates to India and this export has also got affected due to the enhanced Indian duties. She said we have also increased duties on certain Indian products. She said we are exploring other markets to export our dates.