logo logo

Pakistan, China to hold FTA negotiations next Month

Pakistan Times

Pakistan, China to hold FTA negotiations next Month

By Ruth Chen, ’Pakistan Times’ Foreign Correspondent

10 August 2006

BEIJING (China): Pakistan and China are scheduled to hold fourth round of negotiation on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Beijing next month.

A senior official of the Chinese Commerce Ministry said that they were looking forward to expedite the negotiation process in order to complete it by the end of this year. The FTA will be a major step forward expanding the scope of import-export between the two countries.

The two sides are holding the talks, keeping in view the complementarily advantages in their industrial and trade structure, ensuring equal benefit and a "win-win" situation.

Both the countries enjoy most favourable environment to conclude a mutually beneficial agreement because of their excellent diplomatic relationship,’’ the sources said, adding they are prepared to accommodate each other upholding their overall business interest.

FTA was raised at a time when such trade arrangements are becoming increasingly popular and the two countries have stepped up their efforts to strengthen their economic ties. Pakistan pinned a great hope on FTA, also for correcting its balance of trade position with China.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the 3rd Round of China-Pakistan FTA Negotiation made substantial progress in consultations on tariff reduction, and the two sides talked deeply about market access, trade relief and juristic issues in terms of goods trade and reached consensus on the draft text of agreement.

Both the sides were satisfied with the progress of the third round, which created favourable conditions for future trade agreements.

Zhu Hong, Deputy Director-General of Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of Ministry of Commerce of China who led his team during the talks hoped that the two sides will finalize an acceptable arrangement, promoting mutually beneficial cooperative partnership.

Over past few years, China-Pakistan economic and trade relations developed quickly. In 2005, bilateral trade reached US$4,26 billion, up by 39% as compared to 2004.

Trade between China and Pakistan amounted to US$1.018 billion in January to March this year, up by 42.3% as compared with the same period last year.

By March 2006, contractual investment of China in Pakistan was US$100 million, turnover of overseas projects was US$6.9 billion. Pakistan invested US$24.31 million in China in all.

The enhancement of the bilateral ties reflects the political will of the two governments and also the aspiration of the two peoples, the sources said, adding that it serves the fundamental interests of two sides and is conducive to peace and prosperity in the region.

The two countries attach great importance to FTA for translating their time-tested and evergreen relations into economic gains