D-8 sets target for final draft of PTA
Monday August 08 2005
D-8 region consisting of eight Muslim countries — Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey — has set the end of 2005 as the target for the finalisation of the last draft of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
Quoting an official at the ministry of commerce Pakistan’s Daily Times said that the fourth meeting of technical experts from the D-8 region will be held in Pakistan in the last week of August or in early September. The proposed PTA will be decided among the contracting states on the basis of a reduction in import tariffs on margin of preferences.
The agreement will also be based on the tradable items list with the strict application of Rules of Origin.
The D-8 had earlier agreed to increase the existing volume of trade between them through a PTA. The official said that the draft of the Preferential Trade Agreement among the D-8 region was being discussed and that efforts being made to prepare the final draft for submission to the governments of the contracting states. After considering the points of view of all contracting states, the PTA will be finalised and the date for its initiation will be determined after final approval is received from the cabinets of the contracting states.
The proposed agreement is expected to increase trade between the contracting Muslim states.
The official added that the contracting states would be able to reduce the manufacturing cost of exportable goods by importing raw materials and semi-finished goods from member states and could initiate joint ventures in the manufacturing sector through the transfer of skilled manpower.
At the moment the volume of trade among the countries in the D-8 region is negligible and efforts are under way to finalise the proposed PTA soon.
The D-8 region’s member countries are already negotiating bilateral trade agreements and Pakistan is negotiating Preferential Trade Agreements and Free Trade Agreements with Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Turkey as these countries are also members of the D-8 region.
The D-8 region PTA will be the third major trade agreement after the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) that has already been signed by seven South Asian states including Pakistan, India, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan.