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Positive headway made on FTA with European Union. : Humayun Akhtar Khan

Positive headway made on FTA with European Union. : Humayun Akhtar Khan

31 May 2007

ISLAMABAD : Minister for commerce Humayun Akhtar Khan has said rise and fall in trade deficit is part of government policies and commerce ministry has no role behind it.

He said this while addressing a press conference here Wednesday in a local hotel. Commerce secretary Syed Asif Shah was also present on the occasion.

Humayun Akhtar Khan told European Union (EU) is major partner of Pakistan in trade. The meeting of trade group of Pakistan and EU was held in Islamabad on May, 23. The irritants being faced with reference to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were identified and other important matters were discussed. The talks with EU on free trade were underway since 2003. This has now entered into final phase. We have made positive headway in regard to FTA with EU.

He indicated that all the matters on FTA had been settled with Malaysia. Matter would be finally decided in July. This will also help stabilize trade with ASEAN as Malaysia is member of ASEAN. Pakistan will be able to export its products to ASEAN through Malaysia/

To a question he said India couldn’t be included in the list of Most Favorite Nations (MFN). However the trade volume with India has surpassed $ 1 billion. India has higher share in it. The allegations leveled by India against Pakistan in connection with violation of SAFTA is baseless.

He hoped that the set target of exports would be achieved comfortably during the current year. Government has to import products in large number keeping in view public interests. This affects trade deficit.