Islamabad, March 28, 2013 (PPI-OT): The business community led by FPCCI, in view of its status as the real stakeholder, should be kept involved in all stages of the negotiations for Phase II of the Pakistan China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
This was stated by Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), while chairing a seminar organized by the Pak-China Business Council of FPCCI in collaboration with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on the Second Phase of Pak-China FTA.
In his opening remarks, the President of FPCCI said that the first phase of the Pakistan China FTA had increased Pakistan’s export to China to $2.2 billion from $575 million, while our imports from China had increased to $8 billion from $3.4 billion in 2007.
He stated that NTBs such as multiple entry visas, transfer of remittances from Pakistan, compliance of standards and frequency of flights should be discussed with the Chinese counterpart authorities in order to further promote bilateral trade. He also said that the promotion of trade with China can help us in accessing the market of ASEAN region.
Mr. Tariq Sayeed, Patron-in-Chief of the Pakistan China Business Council of FPCCI said that China has adopted a new policy, since last few years, to give greater access to South Asian countries wishing to export to China. In this context, China organizes exhibitions and trade fairs in Kunming and Chengdu every year and gives free stalls to Pakistani businessmen for marketing their products.
Participation in these exhibitions presented a golden opportunity for Pakistani businessmen to exhibit and sell their products in the Chinese market. He said that China was now Pakistan’s leading trading partner, which was a welcome change towards diversification of our export markets.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mazhar Ali Nasir, Chairman, Pakistan China Business Council of FPCCI said that PCBC was taking up all matters related to the FTA with Ministry of Commerce very actively. He urged the business community to prepare proposals supported by facts and figures for onward submission to the Ministry of Commerce, and appreciated TDAP’s support in organizing the event. He also welcomed the Joint Secretary of MoC, Mr. Waqar Shah’s invite to arrange a meeting to try and resolve problems related to the local trade and industry in the second phase of the FTA.
The Chief Executive of TDAP, Mr. Abid Javed Akbar said that trade agreements must be revised and revisited frequently in order to ensure that they were achieving their true objective. He said that the business community would be kept abreast of all developments on the front of Phase II of the FTA with China, and the seminar with FPCCI was one is a series of such seminars which would be held throughout the country.
Mr. Waqar Ahmed Shah, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce said that the Ministry of Commerce would welcome feedback from the business community regarding perceived irritants in the existing trade agreements with China as well as other countries.
Also present on the occasion were Begum Salma Ahmed, Vice President of FPCCI, and representatives from the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development and Pak-China Investment Company. The seminar was well attended and concluded with a question and answer session.
For more information, contact:
Syed Masood Alam Rizvi
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332