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APTMA welcomes SAFTA ratification

Daily Times, Pakistan

APTMA welcomes SAFTA ratification

24 February 2006

LAHORE: The chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Punjab zone, Shafqat Elahi, has welcomed the ratification of SAFTA by the cabinet.

The Pakistan textile industry looks forward to interaction and trade with the SAARC member countries. “We will try to seek synergies between the region’s textile industries”, he said.

“We, however, have to watch the interest of our apparel and made-up industry as well. We will, therefore, be working together with associations such as PHMA, PRGMEA, APBEA and pool our resources to monitor and facilitate the trade.”

APTMA, with cooperation of other textile associations, would like to set up a SAFTA Trade Monitoring and Facilitating Committee to keep a watch on compliance of issues such as Rules of Origin.

The committee would try to ensure that benchmarks for trade facilitation were set up and duly complied with. In past there had been complaints by APTMA members where discriminatory customs clearance practice had been used by some countries as trade barriers, he said.

APTMA would like early identification of non-tariff barriers and their removal through a fast track consultative process instead of having to go through time and money consuming dispute settlement process.

APTMA would also like the government of Pakistan to match the incentives given by the governments of other regional countries. “We are not afraid of competition as long as we are provided with a level playing field,” said Mr Elahi. staff report