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EU to discuss FTA in a joint committee meeting

Mar '07
In a press conference on Monday, the Commerce Minister of Pakistan, Humayun Akhtar stated that the European Union will discuss the issue of free trade agreement (FTA) with Pakistan at a meeting of a joint committee formed under third generation assessment system by the two sides.

According to him the EU had agreed to start negotiations on the FTA with India and would start the process with Pakistan after deliberations of the joint committee.

Humayun Akhtar said that the FTA talks between Pakistan and US had seen no progress, though the trade between the two countries was managed under the trade and investment free agreement.

According to him,the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones are to be established in the tribal belt of Balochistan and major part of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) including big cities. “Efforts are being made to include maximum textile items in this treaty as all products made in these zones would have duty-free access to the US market”, Akhtar said.

The Ministry of Commerce added that the growth in textile exports had seen hindrances, so the Government has assigned a foreign consultant to do a study on 10 sectors of textile so that measures can be taken to improve its shortcomings.

Humayun Akhtar also said the delay in FTA with the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council was due to lack of interest on the part of the Arab bloc and Pakistan Government would request Saudi Arabia to use its influence to speed up the process.

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