D-8 members to implement decade pending PTA from July 1, 2016
The Developing-8 member states including Pakistan on Wednesday decided to implement its ten-year pending Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), in order to propel trade from existing US $ 120 billion to US $ 500 billion for the benefit of the people of the member countries.
This was announced by Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan at a press conference after the conclusion of the two-day 2nd Trade Ministers Council Meeting and 4th meeting of the Supervisory Committee of D-8 member states including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt and Nigeria. The minister recalled that PTA was agreed in 2006 but was not implemented despite the lapse of ten years. The D-8 meeting was organized by Ministry of Commence Government of Pakistan as its Chairman to discuss ways and means to further promote bilateral trade among the member countries
Secretary General of D-8, Dr Syed Ali Mohammad Mousavi and Additional Secretary Foreign Trade Robina Athar were also present on the occasion. Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan said that all D-8 member countries were also the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) with a population of one billion people. However, he said that under the Islamabad declaration, the D-8 member states have in principle decided to implement the PTA among the member countries from July 1, 2016 and give and facilitate market access each other as D-8 member states.
He added that Bangladesh and Egypt would rectify by the respective governments for the implementation of the PTA. Khurram Dastagir Khan further said that D-8 member states have also decided to share their expertise in various fields to help other member states to boost their exports through value addition. He said Pakistan has expertise in textile sector and it would share its expertise with other D-8 countries. Likewise , he said Turkey has expertise in environment and infrastructure development and it would share its expertise with other member states for their development of trade. Other member states would also share their expertise to the member group.
The joint declarations says recognizing trade as the vital area of international economic cooperation and being fully aware that an equitable global trading regime should take fully into account the conditions of developing countries and LDCs appropriate measures; recalling agreement in taking necessary steps towards achieving the objectives and goals of D-8 cooperation as stated in the Roadmap to increase intra-trade of D-8 states to at least 15-20 percent of their global trade by the end of 2018. Recognizing the need to operationalise Customs Agreement signed on May 13, 2006 in Bali, Indonesia in order to help remove tariff barriers. Reiterating the importance of efficient networking between and among D-8 Members, trade promotion agencies and private sectors for sharing best practices, enhancing fairness and promoting intra D-8 trade and a facilitative business environment; reiterating the importance of a rule-based trading system, as institutionalized in the WTO Agreement as a step towards the effective and beneficial integration of countries into the global economy; appreciating the Contracting Members' initiative in operationalizing the Preferential Trade Agreement at the respective national level.
Federal Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir Khan chairing an inter-ministerial monthly meeting of committee to review the export situation, domestic prices and domestic stocks of sugar in the country.