Business Recorder | August 21, 2013
FTA draft handed over to Nepal: Dar
The two-day sixth session of Pakistan-Nepal Joint Economic Commission concluded here on Tuesday with a pledge for bilateral co-operation in a number of fields including trade, commerce, banking, agriculture, energy, health, education, information technology, postal services and civil aviation.
The session was led by Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar while the Nepal side was represented by its Minister for Finance, Commerce, Industries and Supplies, Shankar Prasad Koirala. A number of decisions were taken during the meetings of the sixth session and to implement the decisions, minutes of the JEC were also signed.
Briefing media persons about the decisions taken during the meetings here at a local hotel, Senator Ishaq Dar said that a draft of the Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Nepal was handed over to the Nepalese side for their examination. Further negotiations in this regard, he said will be discussed by a joint trade committee of the two countries.
He said the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry will explore areas of trade diversification particularly involving the private sectors of the two countries in collaboration with Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the exchange of business delegations will be made a regular feature. Furthermore, he said a draft of MoU on establishing linkages between
Alternative Energy Development board of Pakistan and Alternative Energy Promotion Center of Nepal was given to the Nepali delegation for formalisation of mutual co-operation in the sector. A draft MoU between State Bank of Pakistan and Central Bank of Nepal for a regulatory regime between the banking sectors of two countries will be exchanged for facilitating business community.
"It will help in the achievement of the objectives of the proposed Free Trade Agreement," the Minister added. Ishaq Dar said the both sides also discussed areas of co-operation in the field of agriculture under the provisions of an agreement signed between the two countries.
In this connection, he said it was agreed to hold the meeting of the Joint Working Group constituted under the said Agreement on August 28, 29 in Islamabad. Increase in the frequency of cargo and passenger flights for Nepal will be discussed in the next meeting of Joint Commission of Trade and also in Air Services Agreement (ASA) talks scheduled in September 2013, Ishaq Dar remarked.
The Finance Minister expressed his resolve to boost the existing cordial and friendly relations between the two countries into substantial economic and trade relations. He further said Pak-Nepal Joint Economic Commission will play a pivotal role in harnessing the true potential of mutual trade and economic co-operation.
Speaking on the occasion Shanker Prasad Koirala said that there is a good scope of promoting trade and economic co-operation between the two countries. Co-operation in the fields, such as, agriculture tourism, education and culture, health, textiles and leather industries would contribute in the economic development and prosperity of our people, he added. Shankar Prasad said that frequent exchange of business delegations, organisation of trade and tourism festivals in both the countries and collaboration between the two private sectors would give further impetus to the promotion of trade and commerce.