Beijing: The 8th meeting regarding 2nd phase negotiations of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) held in Beijing on September 14-15th, concluded with breakthrough in the negotiation which was at an impasse over the last few rounds.
The meeting was co-chaired by Mohammad Younus Dagha, Secretary Commerce, Pakistan and Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister for Commerce, China, said a press release.
In the last seven rounds, Pakistan had been pleading the case of restoration of its preference under the FTA which had been eroded due to subsequent FTAs of China.
Younus Dagha pointed out that the preference on 79% of Pakistan’s exports to China had been eroded. Pakistan has also been concerned over not having been able to get meaningful market access during the first phase of the FTA.
Pakistan had been raising this issue with the Chinese side time and again during the previous rounds without any consensus to address these concerns. It was in this back drop, the Secretary Commerce decided to himself lead the negotiations with the Chinese Vice Minister as his counterpart.
After two days of negotiations, Chinese side agreed to address the major concerns of Pakistan side regarding preference erosion for Pakistani exports and meaningful market access during the 2nd phase.
In this regard Pakistan shared a list around 70 high priority items of its export interest for immediate market access, which the Chinese side agreed to consider favourably. These tariff lines form more than 80% of Pakistan’s current exports to China.
The meeting ended with exchange of pleasantries and a resolve to continue working together to make China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement a win-win proposition for both the countries.