Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile, Mohammad Pervaiz Malik Friday said the government has evolved a comprehensive strategy for enhancing countries’ exports and come out from trade decline.
Prime Minister Export Enhancement Package had left positive effects on country’s export and trade for starting giving funds to exporters by February last, he said while holding a press conference here in the ministry.
He said Rs. 180 billion package being granted to industries from February 2017 would be continued till mid 2018 in shape of duty drawbacks to the different sectors.
The minister said, “We are negotiating on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with different countries in which most of negotiation was nearing completion for reaching the final agreement including Pakistan China FTA Phase II and FTA with Thailand.
He said Pakistan had looking for new market for diversification in foreign trade to enhance the country’s export for economic growth.
He said Indonesia had unilaterally agreed on concession for 20 top export items to Pakistan during bilateral negotiation under Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
Both sides discussed 20 tariff lines and Indonesia agreed to give concession on major exports from Pakistan including zero percent tariff on tobacco, textile fabric , rice , ethanol, Citrus (Kinnow), woven fabric , t- shirts , apparel and mangoes during renegotiation on PTA, he said.
Replying to a question on Generalize System of Preferences (GSP- Plus) , the minister said, “We are working on GSP- Plus according to structural framework and all 27 conventions would be addressed to get GSP- Plus status again.”
Secretary Commerce, Muhammad Younas Dhaga said before PTA, Indonesia granted only two months for export of Pakistan's citrus and mangoes but now after renegotiation, Pakistan could export those fruits to Indonesia for the whole year.
Replying to a question, he said Pakistan and Indonesia had current annual trade volume of $170 million which was expected to increases after renegotiation on PTA between the two countries.
He said the Indonesia-Pakistan PTA was signed in February 2012.
He said countries including Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kenya Philippines in Pacific Region were also in the list for starting dialogue on the PTA leading towards FTA for promoting trade liberalization.
Commerce secretary said Pak-China FTA Phase II talks were progressing smoothly in highly cordial and cooperative atmosphere.
Both sides successfully concluded the 8th round led by him in which a breakthrough was achieved in the shape of China’s assurances to favorably address Pakistan’s concerns in Phase II.
Pakistan side was able to convince Chinese side to revise the bilateral safeguard chapter of FTA, which would be helpful in protecting the local industry.
The preparatory work for the next round on February in 2018 is on track and the two sides are frequently consulting each other to reach a mutually beneficial early conclusion.