Free Trade Agreement with Turkey underway  

Free Trade Agreement with Turkey underway  

LAHORE: (APP) With an aim to increase trade and promote local industry, Ministry of Commerce on Thursday assured business community of Pakistan that the government was negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Thailand and Turkey.

The announcement was made at a consultative meeting on potential FTAs with Turkey and Thailand, organised by the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) to seek input from the business community.

The ministry officials said that the enhanced trade liberalisation was need of the hour and it would benefit the industry in general and consumers of Pakistan in particular in the long run.

It was also announced that the ministry would hold sector-specific consultations with business community to seek their input on a list of items and products while furthering the process of negotiations with these countries.

Briefing the audience about negotiations with Turkey, Ahmed Fasih, Deputy Secretary (Europe), Ministry of Commerce, said that in addition to goods, Pakistan is also negotiating trade in services with Turkey.

"Pakistan is negotiating on financial services, telecommunication services, e-commerce, movement of natural persons, audio-visual services, co-production in films, drama and other arts, logistics and road freight transport sectors," he said.

Making a presentation on the state of negotiations with Thailand, Shafiq Shahzad, Deputy Secretary (Asia-Pacific), Ministry of Commerce, said that quantitative estimates show that the proposed FTA between Pakistan and Thailand would lead to both trade creation and trade diversion, though the net welfare impact would be positive for both countries.