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Paapam fears Thailand FTA for inclusion of auto sector

By our correspondents
December 15, 2016

LAHORE: Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (Paapam) Wednesday conveyed its serious reservations to the federal government on inclusion of the auto sector in Pakistan-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

In a letter addressed to the ministry of commerce secretary, Paapam said, “We, the Auto Parts Manufacturers (APMs), are deeply perturbed by the ongoing negotiations between the governments of Pakistan and Thailand for concluding a free trade agreement between both countries.”

It stated that Pakistan’s automobile sector was governed by the Automotive Development Plan 2016-2021 (ADP), which was announced by the government on March 21, 2016. ADP is an auto specific policy that lays down the pillars of growth in the auto sector for the next five years.

The letter said that as a consequence of the current auto policy, an increased activity in OEM / assembling sector was evident. “Existing assemblers are preparing to launch their new models and vehicles in 2017, 2018 and 2019, while several global manufacturers have already announced their entry in the Pakistan auto sector, such as Renault, Hyundai, Kia, FAW, and other Chinese automobile manufacturers.”

Regretting the inclusion of auto parts in the FTA with Thailand, Paapam letter said it would jeopardise the future of the over three million people employed by the sector. New entrants would shy away, as it would be a sign of an unstable government policy.