Pak,China held talks to re­view Free Trade Agree­ment

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pak­istan and China held talks to as­sess the per­for­mance of Pak-China Free Trade Agree­ment (PCFTA) and to pro­pose nec­es­sary changes of mu­tual ben­e­fit for the two coun­tries was held here Mon­day.

The PCFTA is in ef­fect since 2006 and this is the third meet­ing of the sec­ond phase ne­go­ti­a­tions of the Agree­ment in which Pak­istan's del­e­ga­tion was headed by Ad­di­tional Sec­re­tary Min­istry of Com­merce Ms. Robina Ather and ac­com­pa­nied by of­fi­cials from Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue, Min­istry of In­dus­tries, Min­istry of Tex­tile In­dus­try and Min­istry of Food Se­cu­rity and Na­tional Re­search.

The 10-mem­ber Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion, which will hold three-day FTA-re­view, talks was headed by Yao Wen­liang, Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Min­istry of Com­merce of China, says a state­ment is­sued by the Min­istry of Com­merce to­day.

Other par­tic­i­pants of the Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion in­cluded of­fi­cials from Chi­nese Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, Fi­nance, Agri­cul­ture, Cus­toms and depart­ment of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion.

In its as­sess­ment of the PCFTA, the Min­istry of Com­merce (MoC) ex­pressed its con­cern over the in­suf­fi­cient uti­liza­tion of the fa­cil­i­ties pro­vided un­der the PCFTA in which only few sec­tors have been able to reap the fruits of the fa­vor­able tar­iffs.

Pak­istan em­pha­sized the im­por­tance to broaden its ex­port-base to China by en­cour­ag­ing ex­ports from all the sec­tors which falls un­der FTA and sought to en­hance fa­cil­i­ties and con­ces­sions on high value-added prod­ucts. Pak­istan also ex­pressed its con­cern over the di­lu­tion of mar­gin of pref­er­ence due to China's FTAs with other coun- tries es­pe­cially the ASEAN coun­tries. The cost of ex­emp­tion that the state ex­che­quer has to bear due to tar­iff con­ces­sions un­der FTA also came un­der dis­cus­sion.

Pak­istan also con­veyed the con­cerns of the lo­cal in­dus­try which have to com­pete with the Chi­nese prod­ucts de­spite the per­sis­tent en­ergy cri­sis faced by the coun­try.

Both sides agreed that the con­cerns ex­pressed by the two coun­tries will be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion on mu­tual ben­e­fit ba­sis by read­just­ment and re­view of the FTA through pro­vi­sions of the FTA.

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