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Pak-China free trade agreement comes into effect

Associated Press of Pakistan

Pak-China Free Trade Agreement comes into effect

1 July 2007

KASHGAR, China, July 1 (APP): Pakistan Ambassador to China Sulman Bashir has underlined the need for making concerted efforts to create awareness about bilateral trade agreement including Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that came into effect on Sunday.Talking to reporters here, he said that Pakistan and China were taking concrete steps to further enhance bilateral trade and that some effective machinism should be evolved to create awareness among the concerned people with regard to FTA.

The agreement was signed by the commerce ministers of the two countries during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Pakistan in November 2006.

Under the agreement Pakistan will get market access at zero duty on industrial alcohol, cotton fabrics, bed-linen and other home textiles, marble and other tiles, leather articles, sports goods, mangoes, citrus fruit and other fruits and vegetables, iron and steel products and engineering goods.

While China will also reduce its tariff by 50% on fish, dairy sectors; frozen orange juice; plastic products; rubber products; leather products; knitwear; woven garments etc.

Pakistan will give market access to China mainly on machinery; organic and inorganic chemicals fruits and vegetables, medicaments and other raw materials for various industries including engineering sector, intermediary goods for engineering sectors, etc.

It is to be mentioned the elimination of tariff on the products covered in the Early harvest Program (EHP) shall continue in accordance with the earlier agreed modality of tariff elimination for EHP.

Both parties shall endeavor to eliminate the tariffs of no less than 90 per cent of products, both in terms of tariff lines and trade volume within a reasonable period of time on the basis of friendly consultation and accommodation of the concerns of both parties.

The agreement contains the Articles on Establishment of Free Trade Area, objectives, relation to other agreements, application of this agreement, definitions, scope and coverage, national treatment, tariff elimination, para-tariffs and non-tariff barriers, rules of origin, trade remedies, safeguard measures, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, TBTs, investment, settlement of disputes, amendments, amendments, annexes etc.