‘Breakthrough’ in Sino-Pak FTA talks

Published September 16, 2017
Beijing: Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha, second from right, co-chairs the meeting to review the China-Pakistan FTA on Friday. Islamabad shared a list of around 70 high-priority items of its export interest for immediate market access.
Beijing: Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha, second from right, co-chairs the meeting to review the China-Pakistan FTA on Friday. Islamabad shared a list of around 70 high-priority items of its export interest for immediate market access.

KARACHI: China agreed to address major concerns of Pakistan about the preference erosion of its exports and meaningful market access during the latest round of negotiations over the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) held in Beijing on Sept 14-15.

The negotiation hit an impasse in the last few rounds, but the eighth meeting of the second phase of negotiations over the FTA concluded with a ‘breakthrough’, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

Also read: Pakistan's trade deficit with China swells to $6.2bn

The meeting was co-chaired by Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha and Chinese Vice Minister for Commerce Wang Shouwen.

In the last seven rounds, Pakistan pleaded the case for the restoration of its preference under the FTA that had been eroded due to subsequent FTAs of China. Mr Dagha pointed out that the preference on 79 per cent of Pakistan’s exports to China had been eroded. Pakistan has also shown concern about not being able to get meaningful market access during the first phase of the FTA.

Also read: Chinese ‘rigidity’ rattles Pakistani businesses

Pakistan had been raising this issue with the Chinese side time and again during the previous rounds without any consensus to address these concerns.

Pakistan shared a list of around 70 high-priority items of its export interest for immediate market access. The Chinese side agreed to consider the list favourably. These tariff lines constitute more than 80pc of Pakistan’s current exports to China.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

The whole truth
28 Sep, 2022

The whole truth

THE war on truth has never been more relentless than it is today. Authoritarianism is on the rise and purveyors of...
Real-world trolls
Updated 28 Sep, 2022

Real-world trolls

It's reprehensible how PTI supporters now seem convinced that politicians from opposing camps aren't entitled to basic dignity.
Islamabad wildlife
28 Sep, 2022

Islamabad wildlife

PRESERVING biodiversity is low on the list of priorities of both state and society. However, successful attempts at...
Noon leaks
Updated 27 Sep, 2022

Noon leaks

PMO audio leaks are a national security emergency that ought to be investigated at the highest level.
Cipher probe offer
27 Sep, 2022

Cipher probe offer

CONSIDERING the toxic political polarisation in the country, former prime minister Imran Khan’s suggestion that ...
Delaying Doha plans
27 Sep, 2022

Delaying Doha plans

WHEN Doha announced its intention to spend $3bn in different commercial and investment sectors of Pakistan around a...