Pakistan to pursue preferential trade deals with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman: Razak Dawood

Published September 26, 2021
In this file photo, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood addresses the Pakistan-Tajikistan Business Forum in Dushanbe on Sep 16, 2021. Picture credit: Abdul Razak Dawood/Twitter
In this file photo, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood addresses the Pakistan-Tajikistan Business Forum in Dushanbe on Sep 16, 2021. Picture credit: Abdul Razak Dawood/Twitter

Pakistan will pursue individual trade deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Sunday, as talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) remain stalled.

The GCC, which includes those three countries plus Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, started free trade talks with Pakistan in 2004. It has not implemented a free trade deal since 2015.

Dawood told Reuters that Pakistan hoped bilateral negotiations for preferential trade deals with the three Gulf Arab states would start in the next 6-12 months.

“We feel it is far better to do individual (deals) at the moment rather than with the GCC as a bloc,” he said in Dubai.

A preferential trade deal typically gives certain products preferential access such as by reducing or removing tariffs.

Dawood said the negotiations would cover a limited number of goods and would not be as comprehensive as a free trade agreement, though over time the deals if secured, could be expanded.

He did not say which goods Pakistan would seek to include.

The UAE announced this month it would seek broad economic agreements covering trade and investments with eight countries, including India, Britain and Turkey, but not Pakistan.

Also read: FM Qureshi, UAE counterpart discuss bilateral ties, upcoming Dubai Expo 2020

Saudi, Emirati and Omani officials could not be immediately reached for comment on the PM's adviser's remarks.

Dawood is in Dubai to assess preparations for Pakistan's participation at the six month Expo world fair being held there from next month.

He said Pakistan would highlight safety and diversity at Expo, which he hoped would lead to an increase in tourists and investments in the South Asian nation.

This month, New Zealand's cricket team pulled out of an upcoming tour of Pakistan over security concerns.

“We were not expecting something like this to happen and that is the type of perception that we have to overcome,” Dawood said.

Opinion

Editorial

17 Jan, 2022

Security policy unveiled

PAKISTAN’S freshly unveiled National Security Policy has broadened the traditional concept and included economic...
Bold decisions
Updated 17 Jan, 2022

Bold decisions

IT is a double blow within a matter of days. The Islamabad High Court’s order last week to demolish a navy golf...
17 Jan, 2022

Rohingya camp blaze

A HUGE blaze in a refugee camp housing members of the Rohingya community in Bangladesh last week has left up to ...
16 Jan, 2022

Omicron threat

AS Pakistan grapples with the fifth coronavirus wave fuelled by the Omicron variant, the state must take timely...
Updated 16 Jan, 2022

Grim picture

There is much the govt can do to create an environment free of repression and coercion so that democracy is strengthened.
16 Jan, 2022

Larkana jail unrest

THAT Larkana Central Prison authorities had to resort to the excuse of “cleaning the jail” to shift 13 dangerous...