KARACHI: The Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) has asked the government to take private sector in confidence before signing a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Turkiye.

“Without any deliberation from the private sector, the agreement is bound to create uncertainty for Pakistan’s industries and economic outlook. The country can no longer afford to have trade agreements that would prove unfavourable for local industries and result in a sharp rise in the country’s import bill,” the federation said in a statement on Monday.

Expressing concerns about Pakistan’s expected PTA to be signed with Turkiye on Aug 12, EFP Chairman Ismail Suttur said Islamabad has agreed to give duty exemptions to Ankara on almost 220 products, whereas around 120 Pakistani products will get duty waivers. The Ministry of Commerce has failed to reach out to the private sector for consultations on the PTA, he added.

“Without consultations with the private sector, the PTA could prove to be counter-productive for Pakistan’s economy.” The statement quoted Mr Suttur as saying, “Pakistan was never able to realise the true potential of the agreement, whereas China was able to export a considerably higher volume of products to Pakistan, thereby worsening the country’s balance of payments (BOP) position.”

He said the commerce ministry has not reached out to the private sector nor the apex bodies—EFP and FPCCI—representing the private sector in Pakistan. The EFP chief said that several Pakistan-based companies may be negatively affected as a result of this PTA as their products may become uncompetitive as compared to Turkish products that would enjoy duty exemptions.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2022

Now you can follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...
Post-flood economy
Updated 24 Sep, 2022

Post-flood economy

WITH a third of the country — especially Sindh and Balochistan — under water, over 33m people displaced, and...
Panadol shortage
24 Sep, 2022

Panadol shortage

FROM headaches to fever to bodily pain — paracetamol is used ubiquitously in Pakistan as the go-to remedy for most...
Star-struck cops
24 Sep, 2022

Star-struck cops

IN this age of selfies and social media, it is easy to get carried away in the presence of famous people, even if ...