Pak-Turk FTA talks fo­cus on goods, ser­vices, in­vest­ment

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

MIAN AR­SHAD IS­LAM­ABAD—Pakistan and Turkey started the sec­ond round of talks on Free Trade Agree­ment (FTA) Tues­day with spe­cial fo­cus on goods, ser­vices and in­vest­ment.

The three-day ne­go­ti­a­tions will con­clude on to­mor­row. The Pak­istani side is be­ing headed by the Ad­di­tional Sec­re­tary For­eign Trade Min­istry of Com­merce Ru­bina Athar while Turkish Un­der-Sec­re­tary Min­istry of Econ­omy is lead­ing his coun­try in the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The main ob­jec­tive of the talks is an early con­clu­sion of FTA for the mu­tual ben­e­fit of both coun­tries” a well-placed source at the Min­istry of Com­merce told Pakistan Ob­server here on Tues­day. In Oc­to­ber last year, both coun­tries signed the Terms of Ref­er­ence for ne­go­ti­a­tions on bi­lat­eral Free Trade Agree­ment. The rel­e­vant doc­u­ment was signed dur­ing the first round of talks in Ankara.

The two sides re­it­er­ated to have a com­pre­hen­sive free trade agree­ment and con­clude ne-

go­ti­a­tions on fast-track ba­sis

This year in March, both Pakistan and Turkey held first round of talks on FTA here in Is­lam­abad. Both sides agreed to speed up the process for sign­ing the FTA. Ac­cord­ing to Ru­bina Athar, on the first day of talks, both sides dis­cussed the pre­lim­i­nary is­sues per­tain­ing to the FTA and held only a few ses­sions of dis­cus­sions.

Cur­rently, Turkey has levied heavy du­ties on Pak­istani tex­tile prod­ucts and FTA would not be pos­si­ble with­out lift­ing or eas­ing the rates of du­ties by the Turkish govern­ment.

More­over, it is es­tab­lished that Pakistan has an im­mense po­ten­tial for vegetable and fruit ex­ports along with tex­tile prod­ucts. There­fore FTA would be help­ful in earn­ing for­eign exchange re­serves from the ex­port of these prod­ucts as well as by pro­vi­sion of com­par­a­tively cheaper prod­ucts to Turkish con­sumers.

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