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Pakistan and Singapore to hold talks on FTA soon

Pakistan and Singapore to hold talks on FTA soon

19 August 2005

ISLAMABAD, August 19 (Online): Pakistan and Singapore will formally initiate 3-day technical parleys on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on August 24, a senior government official told Online here on Thursday.

"The experts of both the countries will hold talks in Singapore, encompassing various areas such as trade in goods, trade in service, trade in investment, government procurement, rules of origin, TBT (trade barriers to trade), course of dispute settlement, and customs procedures," sources said.

According to the official, the Ministry of Trade and Industries has sent a proposed draft on the above-mentioned subjects that will be brought under discussion during the three-day talks from August 24 to August 26.

Official said that 7 to 8-member delegation led by Asif Shah, additional secretary of the commerce ministry will take part in the negotiations. The other members of the delegation will be from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance, the Board of Investment, the Ministry of Industries and the CBR.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz during his visit to Singapore met his counterpart, and in that meeting both prime ministers had decided to expedite the process of FTA between the two countries. The official said that the technical talks are a follow-up of the visit of the prime minister to Singapore.

As regards the bilateral trade, the official said that Pakistan’s exports to Singapore in 2003-04 were of $ 117 million while imports from Singapore were of $491 million, showing a trade deficit of $ 374 million.