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Ministry, FCCI discuss CPFTA Phase II


May 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Commerce Secretary Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera held consultations with the business community in Faisalabad on the recently concluded China-Pakistan FTA Phase II, export growth, and industrial infrastructure development.

Pakistan has secured duty free access on 313 items in China under the CPFTA Phase II. These items constitute the core of Pakistan's production base and constitute more than 80 percent of the country’s national export basket.

China imports these 313 items for $64 billion from all over the world, Commerce Secretary Sukhera said. “Now that Pakistan has zero percent duty on these (313) products in China, it is for our entrepreneurs to capitalise on the opportunities created due to this additional market access,” he added.

If Pakistan was able to secure even 10 percent of this market share, exports would increase by $6.4 billion. “Phase II of the FTA will correct the trade imbalance with China, resulting from Phase I,” he added.

The business community appreciated the FTA and said China was an attractive market for Pakistan, and the best way to benefit was to develop joint venture production facilities with the Chinese.

Commerce Secretary Sukhera said the Ministry of Commerce had held two B2B forums in China during the last six months, and it was decided to hold such events every two months to provide opportunities for business linkages between the entrepreneurs of both sides.

FCCI president appreciated the competitiveness enhancement measures of the government and demanded continuity in the policy measures, especially the predictability of gas and energy tariff and continuation of the PM's export package.

However, he raised concerns on the volatility of exchange rate which was hampering the investor and exporter from taking business positions.

The Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) management briefed the Ministry of Commerce team on the progress regarding operationalisation of the industrial estate. The modalities of the development of an Expo Centre, along with the industrial estate were also discussed.

On a question regarding the revival of sick industries, Commerce Secretary Sukhera said the ministry would arrange a session in China in June with the potential investors to enter into JVs with the owners of sick units, which could be operationalised in a shorter period than the green field projects.