Daily Times, Pakistan
Pakistan-Malaysia FTA in final stages
By Tanveer Ahmed
5 April 2008
KARACHI: Government is working on Pakistan-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Technical Support Project to exploit the potential at the optimum level under this arrangement.
According to officials, Foreign Trade Institute of Pakistan (FTIP) has been carrying out this task, which after finalisation would be submitted to Ministry of Commerce (MoC) for final approval by April 15, 2008.
FTIP has also sought assistance from WTO Cell of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) for finalising this project. It is pertinent to mention that WTO Cell is also working on Pak-Malaysia FTA and in currently in the process of getting inputs from industry’s people to benefit from the market access to Far East Asia country. Pak-Malaysia FTA came into effectiv from 1st January of this year. Under Technical Support Project, Pak-Malaysia FTA communication strategy will be developed and implemented as well as export promotion programs would also be devised for the industry people to benefit from the enormous potential to export Malaysia.
Export promotion programmes envisages detail on various sectors and development of general and sector specific promotional activities. Besides FTIP will also issue six-monthly Pak-Malaysia FTA review.
Publication of handbook on FTA between the two countries highlighting opportunities & challenges for Pak exports to Malaysia will also be part of this project.
According to estimates of government and private sector, total indicative export potential for Pakistan to Malaysia is around $1.17 billion per annum against the present export volume of $54 million. “The benefit given in the form of concessions under FTA can be materialised to achieve the envisaged potential provided tangible efforts in terms of competency level and quality of products is ensured to the requirements of Malaysian buyers”, officials said. They also believed that tapping the indicative potential needs to improve the base of production, quality and competitiveness of their products through enhanced productivity.