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PIAF for tariff concessions as FTA with China expires on December 31

Business Recorder

PIAF for tariff concessions as FTA with China expires on December 31

23 November 2012

Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has invited the government attention towards the first phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China that is expiring on December 31, 2012, and called for more tariff concessions as talks for second phase of the FTA are well on way.

The PIAF Chairman Sohail Lashari in a statement on Thursday said that since the first phase of the FTA is expiring after a few days, therefore, it is important that more tariff concessions are sought in order to help Pakistan enhance its exports to China.

He said that unilateral trade concessions are need of the hour, as the current trade balance is heavily in favour of China. In case of non-implementation on second phase of FTA from January 2013, 5 percent tariff concession on all trade will remain withdrawn. Thus the government should complete work on FTA second phase well in time, he added.

Lashari said that bilateral trade between the two countries underwent immense growth after the signing of the FTA in 2006 that was implemented in July 2007 as China exported products worth $7.2 billion last year compared to Pakistani exports of $1.5 billion.

He said if Pakistan got tariff concessions for the second phase of the FTA, Pakistan’s exports to China would register considerable surge. He said that the country’s economy is under tremendous strain due to multiple factors like global economic meltdown. The PIAF Chairman urged the government to also negotiate removal of non-tariff barriers with China to ensure participation of maximum businessmen in international exhibitions in China.