ISLAMABAD: With a view to gaining its lost market in the very important country of Turkey and increasing its share in exports, Pakistan is sending its high level seven-member experts team headed by Secretary Commerce Younas Dagha for crucial and result oriented talks on Free Trade Agreement.
Pakistan’s delegation is to leave for Turkey on Sunday and will hold FTA talks with Turkish counterparts on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday Morning Younas Dagha will also have a meeting with Turkish trade minister, a senior official at the Commerce Ministry told The News.
Since President Tayyib Erdogan, the official said, has got more grips in corridor of powers of Turkey as a result of recent referendum which is why the authorities concerned in Istanbul on trade will be clear headed on how to proceed with Pakistan. The new situation in Turkey that will trigger to more stable economic policies has allured the new Commerce Secretary to sit on driving seat for result oriented talks.
“Pakistan’s exports to Turkey once shot up to close to $1 billion in 2010-11 has alarmingly gone down to just $280 million. This has jolted the authorities concerned headed by new Secretary Commerce Younas Dagha enough to move and rectify the situation.”
However, the authorities remained unmoved since 2011 and showed indifference to the fact that Pakistan has almost lost its exports share up to $700 million in the market of Turkey. This is the new Secretary Mr Dagha who brought the issue to the fore from the back burner and keeping in view the export potential of Pakistan’s products, the free trade agreement talks are being touted as very important from Pakistan’s perspective.
Egypt is reported to have eaten up Pakistan’s share as Cairo had managed to ink and operationalise its bilateral trade agreement with Istanbul. Pakistan’s export to Turkey started declining when tax authorities in Turkey imposed additional duty by 8-18 percent on 60 percent tariff lines for all countries which is allowable in WTO laws. Under WTO, Turkey is bound to reduce tariffs on 34 percent tariff line and is not bound on remaining 60 percent items. So Turkey increased the import duty on 60 percent tariff line to primarily safe guard its local industry from the influx of Chinese products, but with this action Pakistan export sustained the mammoth set back as textile, leather, surgical and sports goods which are considered Pakistan’s backbone of the exports were badly affected. However, the country like Egypt that had the FTA with Turkey managed to exploit the situation as Egyptian products were not affected by the additional duty imposed on the items such as textile, leather, surgical and sports goods. This was the main reason which is why Pakistan share in the Turkish market has evaporated to Egypt.