Pakistan to initiate dialogue on proposed FTA with Pacific, South East

Pakistan to initiate dialogue on proposed FTA with Pacific, South East

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan wants to initiate negotiation with Pacific and South East  Asian nations on proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for enhancing the multilateral trade and competitiveness in country's trade.

Countries including Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines in Pacific region also in list for starting dialogue on Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) leading towards FTA for promoting trade liberalization, a senior official of Ministry of Commerce told APP here on Tuesday.

Replying to another question, he said Pakistan and Indonesia had agreed on concession for 20 different items during bilateral negotiation under Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

Both sides discussed 20 tariff lines and Indonesia agreed to give concession on major exports from Pakistan including rice, textile, ethanol, Citrus (Kinnow) and mangoes during renegotiation on PTA, he said.

Concession on 20 tariff lines was major success of Pakistan and now Pakistani citrus export to Indonesia will increase from 18 to 35 million tones and mangoes exports will increase to 10 million tons in a year, he said.

The official said before PTA, Indonesia granted only two months for export of Pakistan's Citrus and mangoes but now after renegotiation, Pakistan can export these fruits to Indonesia for the whole year and any time-limit was removed.

Replying to a question, he said that Pakistan and Indonesia had current annual trade volume of $ 170 million which was expected to increases after renegotiation on PTA between the two countries.

Both the countries agreed to expand PTA and go for a Free Trade Agreement between them, the official said.

He said the Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was signed in February 2012.

The official said the activation of the PTA followed the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on plant quarantine and

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures between Indonesia and Pakistan.

He said through these steps, Pakistani agricultural products will gain greater market access in Indonesia.