Pakistan searching for new trade avenues and enhancing existing ones

Pakistan is committed to search new trade avenues in different regions of the world including, South America, Africa and South East Asian trade destinations, a senior official of the ministry of commerce told media sources on Thursday.

Replying to a question, he said that Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with different countries including Turkey, China and Thailand were in the negotiation phase.

Pak-China

While speaking on the second phase of Pak-China FTA, he said that China had agreed to provide market access to 58 items, besides providing concessions on all items included in the offer list.

He also informed the media that the coming round of negotiations with China under the 2nd phase of FTA would be held in October 2018 in Islamabad.

Pak-Thailand

Replying to another question, he said that Pakistan would get benefits of $200 million after signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Thailand and would work towards significantly enhancing the trade volume between the two nations.

The official said that Pakistan and Thailand would present their final list for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the coming round of negotiations starting in the middle of September 2018.

He also informed that both the sides have exchanged the final offer lists of items for the free trade agreement, which includes automobile and textile sectors for Pakistan. In order to address the reservations of both the sectors, Pakistan wants concessions on 110 products pertaining to textiles, agro-products, plastic and Pharmaceuticals, similar to those that Thailand granted to other FTA partners with regard to these products, he said.

Pak-Indonesia

Addressing trade between Pakistan and Indonesia, he said that the two nations have finalized the review process for the bilateral preferential trade agreement, which is likely to enhance local exports to the South East Asian country by about $210 million a year.

Currently, Pakistan and Indonesia have annual bilateral trade volume of $180 million, which was expected to increase to $370 million after renegotiations on the preferential trade agreement between the two countries, he said.

Both the countries agreed to expand the preferential trade agreement, which was signed in February 2012, and opt for a free trade agreement between them, the official said.

The ministry’s official also said that Pakistan wants to initiate negotiations with Pacific and South East Asian nations on the proposed free trade agreement to increase trade and competitiveness.

Countries including Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines are on the list for those countries that Pakistan wishes to start a dialogue with on a preferential trade agreement that eventually leads to an FTA for the promotion of trade liberalization, he said.

(APP)

Posted on: 2018-08-16T17:15:00+05:00

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