Free trade: Exports to China grow 320% in first phase

Negotiations between two sides move into second phase.

APP May 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have successfully implemented the first phase of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and during this period exports to China recorded a growth of 320%.

Similarly, imports grew 120%, sources at the Commerce Division said on Monday.

In order to better utilise concessions and address concerns of the domestic industry, the Ministry of Commerce has started negotiations on the second phase of the FTA with China.

According to sources, during the negotiations, the Chinese side has agreed to discuss tariff reduction for the second phase on the perception of less-than-equal reciprocity in favour of Pakistan.

The negotiations will continue in the next fiscal year, with the objective of allaying concerns of the domestic industry.

About the steps taken by the government to further improve trade relations with Afghanistan, the sources said various measures were suggested to facilitate Afghan transit trade through Pakistan.

Furthermore, Pakistan proposed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries and a draft in this regard has been shared with the Afghan side.

In order to liberalise trade with Iran, Pakistan proposed FTA with Iran and a draft text of FTA has been shared with the Iranian authorities.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2015.

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