The Pakistan government views Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Turkey as the key to revive the textile economy. Currently, Turkey has levied heavy duties on Pakistani textile products and FTA would not be possible without lifting or easing the rates of duties by the Turkish government.
The introduction of FTA would be helpful in earning foreign exchange reserves from the export of textile as well as other such as fruits and vegetables. It will also facilitate the provision of comparatively cheaper products to Turkish consumers.
Pakistan and Turkey, thus, started the second round of talks on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is a three-day negotiation with special focus on goods, services and investment. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the main objective of the talks is an early conclusion of FTA for the mutual benefit of both countries
The Pakistani side is being headed by the Additional Secretary Foreign Trade Ministry of Commerce Rubina Athar while Turkish Under-Secretary Ministry of Economy is leading his country in the negotiations.
In October last year, both countries signed the Terms of Reference for negotiations on bilateral Free Trade Agreement. The relevant document was signed during the first round of talks in Ankara.The two sides reiterated to have a comprehensive free trade agreement and conclude negotiations on fast-track basis.This year in March, both Pakistan and Turkey held first round of talks on FTA here in Islamabad. Both sides agreed to speed up the process for signing the FTA.
According to Rubina Athar, on the first day of talks, both sides discussed the preliminary issues pertaining to the FTA and held only a few sessions of discussions.
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