Pak, Thailand FTA to be signed by mid of January 2018

ISLAMABAD: A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Thailand will be signed on January 15, for focusing on enhancing the bilateral trade between the two countries.

The 9th round of FTA negotiation would start between Pakistan and Thailand by November 6-8 in this year, in which both sides would be presenting the complete offer list of Free Trade Agreement (FTA), for reaching the final agreement, a top official of Ministry of Commerce told APP here on Tuesday.

Both sides had exchanged the final offer lists of items for free trade, including automobile and textile sectors in order to remove the reservations of both sectors, Pakistan wants concession on 100 products on textiles, agro- products, plastic and pharmaceuticals as same Thailand granted to other FTA partners in these products, he said.

The official said that during the 9th round, he said, talks would be held on the text of the agreement, tariff reduction modalities, complete request lists from both side and offer lists.

He said that Pakistan had relative advantages over Thailand in some 684 commodities including cotton yarn and woven textiles, readymade garments, leather products, surgical instruments and sports goods.

While talking on the second phase of Pak- China FTA, he said China has agreed to provide market access to 65 items, shared by Pakistan besides providing concession on all items included in the offer list.

He added that the coming round of negotiation with China under 2nd phase of FTA will be held in the first week of January 2018 in Islamabad. This acceptance came during the negotiations held under 2nd phase of Pak-China Free Trade Agreement(FTA) in China.

“We want the concession on 65 import items and low tariff line on products for further trade liberalization in the 2nd phase of FTA between Pakistan and China”, he said.

He said that Pakistan was desirous to have duty relaxation on 65 products before launching the phase-II as same China given to Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries.

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