ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has said that the government will not allow duty-free import of cotton from India to bridge the shortfall.
Talking to media after launching the latest socioeconomic impact report by Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Ltd (CCI Pakistan) on Friday, he said the country was facing a shortfall of one million cotton bales because of low production this year.
He, however, expressed the hope that the country would have better cotton crop next year.
Mr Dawood said the federal cabinet had allowed three-month extension in the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) after its expiry. The new agreement with the Afghan government would be finalised by June, he added.
About trade with Afghanistan and other Central Asian states, he said that Afghanistan had offered a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
He said that since Uzbekistan and Afghanistan had no industrial production, the PTA items from these countries are dried fruits and agriculture produce.
About the second phase of free trade agreement (FTA) with China, the adviser said it became effective on Jan 1, 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic no progress could be made. The two sides will wait for one more year to make some progress on the FTA.
Earlier, speaking at the report launching ceremony, the adviser said that Pakistan was looking forward to expanding the footprint of foreign companies by creating effective policies which ensure ease of doing business.
“The goal is to expedite economic activities and facilitate the corporate sector as much as possible so that more companies like CCI could establish strong presence locally,” he added.
“The multinational companies have not only introduced the modern corporate culture in country, but have also added significantly to the human resource development and technological advancement in Pakistan,” Mr Dawood remarked.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2021