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Govt requests Japan to slash duty on textile items
Sep '11
The Government of Pakistan has requested Japan to slash duty on its textile items. Currently, Japan levies a 13-15 percent tariff on textile products imported from Pakistan and a reduction in these rates would increase the volume of goods exported from Pakistan to Japan.

In recent months, Pakistani textile products have become less competitive compared to goods from the neighbouring Bangladesh and India, particularly when exports to Japan are concerned.

Bangladesh being a Least Developed Country (LDC) enjoys a duty-free access to the Japanese market. Textile goods from India also attract zero-duty after the bilateral India-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed in February this year.

Textiles account for a major share of foreign exchange for Pakistan, and hence it has asked Japan “to reduce or slash duty on its textile goods to enable it to compete with those countries which enjoy either duty-free access or low or no tariffs,” Mr. Shahzad Ali Khan, Vice Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) told Fibre2fashion.

Taking Bangladesh as an example, Mr. Khan said, “Bangladesh is able to export US$ 18-19 billion worth of goods even though cotton is not grown in the country. This is because the EU and other countries have given a duty-free access into their market.”

“Such duty-free access is currently denied to Pakistan and therefore, we are trying to get the tariffs slashed or removed for our textile goods into the Japanese, American and European markets,” he explained.

Mr. Khan revealed that “Pakistan is currently pursuing for an FTA with the US as it is one of the largest importers of textiles in the world, followed by the European Union.”

About Japan, he said, “it is a very big economy and Pakistan has made an appeal to it to slash or remove the tariffs on textile products. We are hopeful of positive response from Japan as it has always stood by Pakistan, even during the earthquake and floods, both last year and this year.”

On the role of APTMA, Mr. Khan said, “the Association is indirectly involved through the Government of Pakistan. It is providing necessary information and feedback to the Government on the issue.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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