Dastgir wants businesses to support trade liberalisation

Says Pakistan has greatly benefitted from its FTA with China

Our Correspondent November 10, 2016
Khurram Dastagir Khan. PHOTO: PID/FILE

ISLAMABAD: In order to make Pakistan more competitive in the world trade market, the business community of the country has to support the trade liberalisation agenda of the government, said Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan at a meeting with the newly elected office-bearers of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)

Referring to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China signed in 2006, he said that Pakistan’s exports have benefited from the concessions in terms of raw material imported for exportable products.

He assured the business representatives that there was absolutely no threat of rolling back Pakistan’s GSP Plus agreement with European Union (EU), in the aftermath of Brexit.

“Moving ahead, we are negotiating with the UK to sign a GSP Plus-like agreement so that both countries may continue to strengthen trade relations even after March 2019,” said Dastgir.

The minister said that Pakistan has not made noteworthy progress in signing FTAs with different economies since the last decade.

“Now, we are negotiating FTAs with Turkey, Thailand, Iran and South Korea to boost our exports on sustainable basis,” he added.

The ICCI delegation, led by its President Khalid Iqbal Malik, invited the Minister for Commerce to visit its office and newly established Export Display Centre.

Dastgir said he was critical of the attitude of the business community towards favouring a closed economy.

He urged the business community to support the liberalised trade policy.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2016.

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