Pakistan - Pacific Countries to start negotiation on proposed FTA

Pakistan - Pacific Countries to start negotiation on proposed FTA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would negotiate with South Pacific economies on proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for competitiveness and to enhance the country’s trade for economic growth.

Countries including Philippines and Japan in Pacific region is in the list for initiating dialogue on Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) leading towards proposed FTA for promoting trade liberalization, a senior official of Ministry of Commerce told APP here on Monday.

He said that Pakistan has started initial negotiation on proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Japan and on the other hand Philippines was also agreed to exchange initial list for reaching to start negotiation on FTA between both of the countries, he said.

Replying to another question regarding FTA with South East Asian Economies, he said Pakistan and Indonesia have agreed on concession for 20 different items during bilateral negotiation under PTA  .

Both the countries 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, adding that 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.

He said that before PTA, Indonesia was 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 in this regard.

Replying to a question, he said that Pakistan and Indonesia have current annual trade volume of $ 170 million which is expected to increase in the forthcoming renegotiation between the two countries.

Both the countries were also agreed to expand PTA through proposed FTA , the official said.

He said the PTA was signed in February 2012 and its activation was followed by the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on plant quarantine and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures between Indonesia and Pakistan.