Pakistan to make official recommendations to Saudi Arabia

Pakistan to make official recommendations to Saudi Arabia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is set to officially recommend to Saudi Arabia for the commencement of a dialogue on preferential trade agreement (PTA) to boost bilateral investment and trade.

The recommendation is set to be put forth alongside other issues during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to Pakistan, reports *Dawn.*

The Saudi Crown Prince is set to arrive along with his entourage on February 16th which will be accompanied by a high-powered business delegation.

According to official sources, the PTA will envelop tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) which will aid Pakistan in diversifying its export portfolio to Saudi Arabia .

There has been a complete stalemate since 2006 regarding negotiations on the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Till now, only two rounds of talks have been held regarding it and officials say this issue will be raised during the crown prince’s visit.

In the past few years, Pakistan’s bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia has declined from $5.08 billion in 2013-14 to $2.5 billion in 2016-17.