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Humayun leaves for UK today

Daily Times, Pakistan

Humayun leaves for UK today

By Sajid Chaudhry

23 March 2007

ISLAMABAD: Pursuing the case of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union and enhancement of bilateral trade and economic relations would be the trade diplomacy agenda of the two days visit of the federal minister for Commerce Humayun Akhtar Khan to United Kingdom starting from Friday.

As first part of trade diplomacy agenda Commerce Minister would meet Ian McCartney, Minister of state United Kingdom, Aliaster darling, Secretary of State for Commerce and members of the UK parliament and business community.

Khan, who recently participated in the G-33 meeting held at Jakarta, Indonesia, would reach the United Kingdom on Friday, a senior official at Ministry of Commerce told on Thursday.

Pakistan has already conveyed its desire to ink FTA with EU so that a real market access is ensured for items of Pakistan’s exports in the European markets.

Pakistan’s trade managers are of the view that European Union member countries could avail the 0% import duty concession on machinery, which Pakistan has recently allowed, to China under Pak-China FTA. This would be a great opportunity for the European exporters to compete with China and export their machinery to Pakistan.

Pakistan is importing machinery for expansion of capacity its industries as well as setting up of new industrial units also from European countries and FTA between Pakistan and EU would help both the trade partners.

Import of machinery and equipments in Pakistan is on the rise around $3 billion annually as the local industries are up-grading their capacities to meet the local as well as demand for exports. In tern, Pakistan is to seek market access in textiles and clothing to have maximum benefit of this agreement.