ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Indonesia have finalised the review process for the bilateral preferential trade agreement that is likely to enhance local exports to the south east Asian country by $200 million a year, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Currently, Pakistan and Indonesia have annual bilateral trade volume of $170 million, which was expected to increase to $370 million after renegotiation on the preferential trade agreement between the two countries, the official of the ministry of commerce told APP.
Both the countries agreed to expand preferential trade agreement, which was signed in February 2012, and go for a free trade agreement between them, the official said.
Both the sides discussed 20 tariff lines and Indonesia agreed to give unilateral concession on major exports from Pakistan, including zero percent tariff on tobacco, textile fabric, rice, ethanol, citrus (kinnow), woven fabric, t-shirts, apparel and mangoes during the preferential trade agreement renegotiation, said the official.
Concession on 20 tariff lines is a major success of Pakistan and now Pakistani citrus and mangoes exports to Indonesia will increase country’s trade.
The official said Indonesia had granted only two months a year for export of Pakistan’s citrus and mangoes before the preferential trade agreement, but now after renegotiation Pakistan could export the fruits to Indonesia throughout the year.
The ministry’s official said Pakistan wants to initiate negotiation with Pacific and South East Asian nations on proposed free trade agreement to increase trade and competitiveness.
Countries including Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines are in the list for starting dialogue on preferential trade agreement that leads to FTA for promoting trade liberalisation, he said.