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April 12, 2019

FTA negotiations with Turkey to conclude in June


April 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Negotiations on free trade agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Turkey would conclude in June; followed by formal agreement to boost bilateral trade cooperation in different potential areas between the two brotherly countries.

Pakistan would finalise FTA with Turkey, under the Pakistan-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) plan of action, a senior official of the Ministry of Commerce and Textile said on Thursday.

Pakistan and Turkey had agreed to formalise a Pakistan-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) during the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Turkey in January this year and the committee was also formed to finalise the SEF draft.

After the approval by the prime minister, the SEF draft was sent to Turkey on February 20.

Through the SEF, Pakistan would get tariff free access in potential Turkish markets to increase the bilateral trade between the two countries.

The senior official said the two countries can increase bilateral trade to $6,000 million in the near-term from the existing level of $598 million.

Pakistan’s top 20 high-potential exports can go up from $400 million to $2,600 million, while Turkey’s top 20 high potential exports to Pakistan can be enhanced to $2,600 million from $200 million.

The country’s major exports to Turkey included denim PET, ethanol, cotton yarn, fabric and rice, garments, leather, carpets, surgical instruments, sports goods, and chemicals.

The official said the two sides held discussions on goods, services and investment. After signing a new FTA, the two countries would be able to improve their trade balance, he added.

He said after the finalisation of FTA, Pakistan would get market space in agriculture and pharmaceutical sectors in Turkey.

Pakistan’s major imports from Turkey included manmade textiles, towels, steel structure, tanning and plastic chemicals, processed milk and whey.

The official also said priority of the government was to promote trade liberalisation for searching new potential markets in different parts of the world to increase trade.

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