ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to review the free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been asked by the ministry of commerce to prepare a presentation on the duty and taxation structure under the agreement.
This paper will come under discussion in a meeting expected to be held between representatives of the two countries by the end of January in Kuala Lumpur, sources said.
The meeting will also review the trade volume under the FTA as it has been observed that the trade balance is in favour of Malaysia while Pakistan’s exports to Kuala Lumpur are facing non-tariff and trade barriers. Malaysia will also be asked to lift a ban on the import of mangoes from Pakistan.
Pakistan imports palm oil costing $1 billion annually and due to a 15 per cent concessional duty given to Malaysian palm oil its share in total palm oil imports has risen to 70 per cent from 55 per cent whereas palm oil imports from Indonesia have come down to 30 per cent from 45 per cent.
Hence Indonesia has been pressing Pakistan to reduce duty on its palm oil as well whereas Pakistan is of the opinion that Indonesia in response should bring down duties on Pakistani mandarin, textiles, value-added garments and sports goods.
In another development, Pakistan has been given access to the Mexican markets for export of rice in 50kg polythene bags. These bags will mention name of the exporter, product origin and its quality and the importers in Mexico, if required, could get the samples of rice being imported from Pakistan and get them tested.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2011.
More in BusinessIbrahim Fibres: Trade coverage of €110m extended