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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Thailand are to hold three consultative sessions on Product Specific Rules (SRs) under Pak-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (PATHFTA) as part of engagements due to the slow progress on the pact, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Thailand are in progress since 2013 but several issues are yet to be finalised.

The sources said first consultative session would be held from January 31 to February 4, 2022. Pakistan Commerce Ministry’s Textile Wings, Pakistan Standards Quality Control Authority and Federal Board of Revenue would hold parlays on tariff lines covered in chapter 50-63.

According to sources, second consultative round is scheduled to be held from February 7-18, 2022. Pakistan’s Ministry of Industries and Production, Engineering Development Board, Pakistan Standards Quality Control Authority, Federal Board of Revenue will discuss tariff lines of chapter 25-49 and 64 with their Thai counterparts.

Third round is scheduled for February 21-25, 2022. The officials of Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Department of Plant Protection, Animal Quarantine Department, Agriculture Institute, Pakistan Standards Quality Control Authority and Federal Board of Revenue would discuss the pros and cons of tariff lines in chapter 1-24.

According to PBC, current tariff structure revealed that there is room for tariff cuts, for goods traded between the two countries. Pakistan could ask for 100 percent concession or the most concessionary tariffs for its top potential textile and seafood exports to Thailand. Since Pakistan is not among the primary source of textile articles for Thailand, but has a high potential to supply these products, provision of concessionary duties will make Pakistani products more competitive in the Thai market against zero rated products of India, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

PBC maintained that recognising Pakistan as a significant exporter of aquatic animals, there seems to be an interest among ASEAN countries in building new trade relations with Pakistan. For this purpose, this study has used Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA), Export Product Dynamic (EPD), and X-Model methods. This procedure is adapted from Luhur et al. 2019. The EPD estimation results showed that Pakistani “Crustaceans” (HS-0306) and “Aquatic Invertebrates” (HS-0308) in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia were falling in the “Rising Star” position, which showed that Pakistan was able to meet the growing demand in these countries. Moreover, Pakistani “Frozen Fish” (HS-0303), “Fillets and Fish Meat” (HS-0304), and “Molluscs” (HS-0307) have acquired a “Rising Star” position in the Thai market. To determine Pakistan’s market development potential in Thailand and each ASEAN market under consideration, this study further used the X-Model of Potential Export Product method. The X-model estimates project a positive and potential market development status in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia which means all three markets have a significant potential to develop the Pakistani fishery product market.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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