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Team leaves for China to discuss FTA

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The high-level government delegation leave for China to initiate talks on the second phase of China-Pakistan FTA.—Reuters/File
The high-level government delegation leave for China to initiate talks on the second phase of China-Pakistan FTA.—Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: A high-level government delegation left for China on Wednesday to initiate talks on the second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA).

The delegation, led by Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce Ms. Robina Ather, will hold discussions with Chinese counterpart until Friday, an official statement said.

“This round of talks will mainly focus on bilateral trade issues, investment and service market opening, tariff reduction modalities, electronic data interchange, rules of origin and other customs issues, technical barriers to trade and phyto-sanitary issues,” the statement added.

Earlier, the commerce ministry held consultative meetings with stakeholders for over two weeks covering almost all the sectors concerning trade with China.

Detailed discussions were held on tariff-line-to-tariff-line basis from chapters 25-97 of the Pakistan Customs Tariff manual to seek proposals on tariff modalities. For chapters 1-24, which are related to agriculture, the ministry is in consultative talks with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and relevant agricultural organisations.

Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir Khan directed the delegates to keep consultations with the domestic industry comprehensive and broad-based so that concerns of the whole industry may be reflected in the final proposals.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2015

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