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Business

Web Desk
September 16, 2017
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'Breakthrough' in Pak-China talks on Free Trade Agreement

'Breakthrough' in Pak-China talks on Free Trade Agreement

BEIJING: The 8th meeting of second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) concluded with breakthrough in the negotiation after a lapse of more than two-and-a-half years.

After two days of negotiations, Chinese agreed to address the major concerns of Pakistan regarding preference erosion for Pakistani exports and meaningful market access during the 2nd phase.

In this regard Pakistan shared a list around 70 high priorityitems of its export interest for immediate market access, which the Chinese side agreed to consider favourably. These tariff lines constitute more than 80% of Pakistan's current exports to China.

The meeting was held in Beijing on September 14-15, co-chaired by Mohammad Younus Dagha, Secretary Commerce, Pakistan and Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister for Commerce, China.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Mr Dagha had stated  that the current volume of trade between Pakistan and China of US$16 billion is a testimony to the ever growing economic cooperation.

The Secretary Commerce stated that the benefits of CPEC and CPFTA shall be shared equitably by the two countries and should be a win-win proposition for both sides. He stressed the need for addressing growing trade imbalance and visa facilitation for Pakistani businessmen visiting China.

Earlier in September, both sides convened a seventh round of meeting to break the deadlock over reaching an agreement on the revival of preferential tariff on exportable products for each other.

Pakistan and China had agreed to revise the treaty by end-December 2015. However, authorities in Beijing are unwilling to accept Islamabad’s demand to revive preferential treatment for exportable products under the second phase of the FTA.

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