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Pakistan govt to promote trade and export making efforts to sign FTAs with ASEANs

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-02-14 15:00:00 – Islamabad

Pakistan government to promote trade and export efforts are in the process to sign Free Trade Agreement – II with China and also to sign Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN countries. Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said that China has promised to offer more facilities and market access to Pakistan’s products under the second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), which is under process to be signed between the two countries. Three rounds of dialogue have been held so far on the CPFTA.

During the last five years, Pakistan has signed only one Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Indonesia in February, 2012, which became operational in September, 2013. The PTA with Indonesia will facilitate Pakistan’s entry to ASEAN market while the government is also making efforts to sign FTAs with ASEAN countries to further promote trade and exports with these countries.

The Commerce Minister further said that the advantages of signing PTA with Indonesia was it provided preferential market access to Pakistan on 232 tariff lines. Out of these, 103 tariff lines which are of Pakistan’s export interest are zero rated and includes cotton yarn/fabrics, readymade garments, fans, sports goods, leather goods, fresh fruits, and other industrial products.

Pakistan signed Mutual Recognition Agreement with Indonesia on 30th August 2013 for trade of horticulture products. As a result, export of Kinnow has increased to $19.22 million in 2013-14 from $3.2 million in 2012. Pakistan has suffered no loss due to the said PTA.

The minister said that Pakistan also entered into bilateral FTAs with Sri Lanka, Malaysia and China in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively. There is no evidence of drastic fall in the production of any of the cash crops and plantation. Dastgir also rejected the impression of any negative impact of FTAs on any of the cash crops or plantation, adding agriculture crops are generally protected as sensitive items in all FTAs.

Ministry of Commerce in strategic trade policy framework has set the target to increase Pakistan’s cumulative export to $95 billion during 2012-15.

Minister for Textile Industry Abbas Khan Afridi apprised the House that after resolving the issue of energy for industrial sector, 292 new industries have been registered. There are 4629 companies having textile and allied industry presently registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

During the period from March 2013 till date, 286 textile companies having textile and allied industry have either been wound up or their names have been struck off from the register of companies under the provision of the company’s ordinance, 1984, main reason behind closure of textile units was the energy crisis.

The new Textile Policy announced by the government will help promote value added exports of the country.

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