Pak-Turkey FTA to be signed by mid of June

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—Textiles, tourism, culture among sectors proposed for enhancing cooperation

ISLAMABAD: The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Turkey is likely to be signed by mid of June, a senior official in Ministry of Commerce said.

The decision in this regard was made after the conclusion of 9th round of negotiation between the two sides.

Talking to APP, the official informed that during the last round of negotiation, the two sides agreed on final list of tariff lines and Turkey also agreed to give duty free access to local textile product in its market.  The dialogue on FTA between the Pakistan and Turkey would conclude in June, followed by a final agreement to boost bilateral trade, he said.

The official said that Pakistan would finalise the FTA with Turkey under the Pakistan-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) plan of action.  He added that the proposed sectors for enhancing the cooperation include textile, tourism and culture, investment in industrial cooperation, auto industry, agriculture, banking and finance.

Turkey, he said was also agreed on treatment basis of offering lowest tariff on all tariff lines which was given to the other trading partners in the past.

The ministry official further said that through the FTA, both sides agreed to increase business to business relations for enhancing cooperation between the business communities of the two countries.

Replying to a question, he said that industrial and investment cooperation was also on the card through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the boards of investment of Turkey and Pakistan for cooperation and facilitation in local Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

He informed that the two countries can increase bilateral trade to $6.5 billion in the short term from the existing level of $6 billion.

Pakistan’s top 20 high-potential exports can go up from $400 million to $2.6 billion, while Turkey’s top 20 high potential exports to Pakistan can be enhanced to $2.6 billion from $200 million. The country’s major exports to Turkey included denim PET, ethanol, cotton yarn, fabric and rice, garments, leather, carpets, surgical instruments, sports goods, and chemicals.

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