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Pakistan negotiating FTAs with Thailand, Turkey, Korea
Jun '15
Pakistani commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that Islamabad is negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) with Thailand, Turkey, and Korea in search of new markets to boost exports, according to media reports.

His comments to the media came after a meeting with Pakistan Carpet Manufactures and Exporters Association (PCMEA) and All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA).

The minister assured the carpet industry as well as the textile exporters of full support in restoring the zero-rating sales tax regime and expeditious clearance of refund claims in order to give a boost to exports.

“The export-oriented sector is the bread winner for the country and the government is trying its best to facilitate it,” Khan said.

He said export diversification was widely recognised as a positive trade policy objective in sustaining the economic growth.

He said the ministry realises the need to expand export markets and enhance its share in regional trade. “Pakistan has signed free trade agreements with China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. There are also ongoing Free Trade Agreement discussions with Thailand, Turkey and Korea,” he said.

The minister highlighted major reforms that the government intended to undertake to radically enhance the competitiveness of Pakistani products.

The far-reaching structural reforms, and stabilisation measures carried out in the past two years have put the economy on the right track.

The minister said that in order to improve transparency, enhance competitiveness and remove anti-export bias, the commerce ministry and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have undertaken a tariff rationalisation exercise.

APTMA chairman SM Tanveer said that billions of rupees of textile exporters were blocked in sales tax and customs rebate and other schemes introduced in the textile policy for 2009-14.

He said the zero-rating sales tax facility was intended to save them from the hassle of claiming refunds. Pakistan’s textile exports could soar to $25 billion if the government took the stakeholders on board and framed policies in consultation with them, Tanveer added. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk – India

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