Pakistan, Vietnam to discuss PTA in Nov

Envoy stresses need for enhancing bilateral trade to $1b

APP October 21, 2021


Pakistan and Vietnam will likely hold talks on progress on the proposed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by mid-November 2021, Vietnam Ambassador to Pakistan Nguyen Tien Phong revealed on Wednesday.

In the upcoming “5th Vietnam-Pakistan Sub-committee on Trade” meeting, both sides would discuss two top subjects - PTA and an agreement on investment protection, the envoy said, adding that other issues of bilateral trade cooperation would also be discussed in the meeting.

He voiced hope that after signing the PTA the trade volume between the two countries would increase.

The current bilateral trade between the two sides stood at around $700 million, far below the potential, he said and emphasised the need to enhance the trade volume to around $1 billion over the next couple of years.

The envoy was of the view that the main reason for the low bilateral trade was the lack of mutual awareness between the two sides, which needed to be improved in future.

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He said that Vietnam, being an active member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), would play its role in promoting trade between Pakistan and the bloc.

“Asean is a very effective trading bloc of the world and has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand from which all regional countries are benefiting,” he added.

Quoting data of the United Nations on international trade, the envoy said that Pakistan’s exports to Vietnam stood at $136.67 million in 2020, whereas its imports from Vietnam were valued at $437.95 million in the same year.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2021.

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