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Pakistan, Malaysia conclude free trade agreement talks

Xinhua | September 30, 2006

Pakistan, Malaysia conclude free trade agreement talks

Pakistan and Malaysia have completed talks over a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Islamabad, the Pakistani Commerce Ministry said on Friday.

"Both the sides made substantial headway in finalizing the draft," the ministry statement said, "except a very few, most of the draft agreement chapters have been agreed upon."

Malaysia has agreed to provide market access to Pakistan’s traditional items of export including mangoes, textile, leather, surgical instruments and other agriculture and manufactured goods, said the statement.

Oranges, potatoes and lemon can be exported to Malaysia at zero duty from Jan. 1, 2006, it added.

The draft FTA, including a chapter on promotion and protection of investment, is also expected to provide impetus for attracting the foreign direct investment from Malaysia to Pakistan.

It has been decided by the two sides to convene the meeting of the subgroup on services and rules of origin to settle all of the outstanding issues before next Trade Negotiating Committee Meeting in mid October, according to the statement.

The two sides also reaffirmed their desire to complete the negotiations on the bilateral FTA before the forthcoming visit of the Malaysian Prime Minister to Pakistan in November this year.

 source: People’s Daily