ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China will sign the second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China, said Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.
In a joint media briefing at the Board of Investment (BOI), along with BOI Chairman Haroon Sharif, he said that Prime Minister Imran would leave for China on April 25 to participate in the second Belt and Road Forum. He added that both sides had firmed up details of the FTA.
“The Chinese side will get the agreement rectified from its concerned authority and it may take one to three months,” he said.
The adviser maintained that relief for local industries would be included in the second phase of the FTA, which was denied in the first phase.
He shared that the government was all set to implement electronic origin data exchange under the agreement, which would enable real time recording of trade between the two countries and help curb under-invoicing.
China has agreed in principle to extend duty free access on additional 313 tariff lines under the proposed FTA.
He pointed out that both countries had agreed on liberalisation of 75% tariff lines and 90% trade value.
“We are expecting exports to increase by $500 million in one-and-a-half-year as a result of the agreement,” he remarked.
The adviser stressed that now it was up to the business community to take advantage of China’s duty relief and tap export potential.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2019.