Negotiations on China, Pakistan FTA in services sector conclude

Pakistan Times | 18 August 2007

Negotiations on China, Pakistan FTA in Services Sector Conclude

’Pakistan Times’ Business & Commerce Desk

BEIJING (China): China has expressed interest in Islamic banking and products in all other sectors during the second round of China-Pakistan negotiations on FTA in Services chapter that concluded here Thursday. Both sides also requested for market access in the services sectors and also agreed on revised list to be exchanged within a month.

A senior official and member of the Pakistani delegation says that in the second round of talks held between August 14-16, Pakistan is inter alia seeking commitments that would entail Chinese firms investing in Pakistan to use local resources if available.

Pakistan has also asked for technology transfer and on job training of locally hired human resources as well as training of labour. She said that market access for Pakistani banks in China has also been requested.

A couple of more rounds are expected prior to finalization of the Services chapter of the China-Pakistan FTA, she said.

Negotiations regarding the incentive package for Industrial Zones located in Pakistan were also held.

One such zone had been inaugurated by the Chinese President Hu Jintao during his recent visit to Pakistan and the meeting agreed upon the way forward for development of the zones and decided to add the policy package for the zones to the FTA agreement. China expressed willingness to share its experience in developing such zones effectively.

The Pakistan delegation was led by Joint Secretary Ministry of Commerce Shahid Bashir. The other members of the delegation were Director-General, Board of Investment, Azhar Shamim, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Industries, Production and Special Initiatives, Niamatullah Khan, Commercial Counsellor, Beijing Dr Naeem Khan, Economic Counsellor, and Permanent Mission of Pakistan to WTO Geneva, Dr Shaista Sohail, Secretary (Customs), Central Board of Revenue, Abdul Qadir Memon, Ministry of Commerce, Manzoor Kayani, Syed Kausar Ali Zaidi, Section Officer, Ministry of Commerce, was a member of the delegation and coordinating the negotiations.

Pakistan delegation is schedule to leave for Islamabad on Friday evening.

source : Pakistan Times

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