Pakistan to evaluate trade policy on modern lines

ISLAMABAD, August 16 (INP) – Pakistan would evaluate trade policy according to modern trends and Strategic policy framework 2015-19 would also be implemented in letter and spirit to boost the country’s exports.

Pakistan is committed to search the new trade avenues in different regions of the world including, South American, Africa and South East Asian trade destination, a senior official of ministry of commerce told APP here on Thursday.

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

While talking on second phase of Pak-China FTA, he said China had agreed to provide market access to 58 items, shared by Pakistan besides providing concession on all items included in the offer list.

He added that coming round of negotiation with China under 2nd phase of FTA would held in October, 2018 in Islamabad.

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

The official said that Pakistan and Thailand would present their complete final list of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in coming round of negotiation start in mid of September, 2018 for increasing trade liberalization between both the countries.

Both sides had exchanged the final offer lists of items for free trade, including automobile and textile sectors in order to remove the reservations of both sectors, Pakistan wants concession on 110 products on textiles, agro-products, plastic and Pharmaceuticals as same Thailand granted to other FTA partners in these products, he said.

Replying to another question, he said that Pakistan and Indonesia have finalized the review process for the bilateral preferential trade agreement that is likely to enhance local exports to the South East Asian country by $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 renegotiation on the preferential trade agreement between the two countries, he said.Both the countries agreed to expand preferential trade agreement, which was signed in February 2012, and go for a free trade agreement between them, the official said.

The ministry’s official said Pakistan wants to initiate negotiation with Pacific and South East Asian nations on proposed free trade agreement to increase trade and competitiveness.Countries including Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines are in the list for starting dialogue on preferential trade agreement that leads to FTA for promoting trade liberalization, he said.

Inp/khan