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Business & Finance

Pakistan to discuss FTA with China during PM's visit: Razak Dawood

  • Advisor for Commerce and Investment says govt looking to expand trade linkages
Updated 03 Feb, 2022

Advisor for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Thursday said talks with China during Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the neighbouring country will focus on improving trade relations and exports.

Dawood, in a video message, said that the premier's visit “is an important one during which several issues pertaining to trade” would be discussed.

Dawood said the government is also looking to bring improvement "on a number of things in its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China".

The China–Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) was signed in two phases. The initial phase was signed on 24 November 2006 and concluded in December 2012, while the second phase was signed on 28 April 2019 and came into force on 1 January 2020, and is expected to conclude in 2024.

Since the FTA implementation, China has emerged as Pakistan’s largest trading partner. However, as per the latest data provided by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan’s imports from China stood at $8.5 billion in July-December FY22, whereas its exports to the ally remain at $1.3 billion in the same period of the fiscal year, translating into a massive trade gap of $7.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Dawood said priority sectors to be discussed during the visit include cement, fruits & vegetables, and agriculture products.

“We will get a lot of benefits and this would lead to an increase in our exports to China,” said Dawood.

He added that Pakistan also aims to attain technology in order to improve its agricultural sector.

PM Imran set to visit China on Thursday

Khan's visit starts today. He is set to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games at the special invitation of the Chinese leadership.

The prime minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including members of the Cabinet and senior government officials.

On Wednesday, the prime minister during a meeting said that the government is pursuing a long-term policy to promote industries and to increase exports and it was important to consult with the business community before visiting China.

The government will discuss enhancing ties between Pakistani and Chinese industrialists and setting up joint ventures, he added.

While in Beijing, the PM would also meet prominent business leaders of China and representatives of leading Chinese think-tanks, academia and the media. He will also have other bilateral interactions on the sidelines.

Earlier, Business Recorder reported that Pakistan is also set to float proposals to Chinese government for renegotiation on contracts of power projects established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on the pattern of other IPPs or to purchase 1200-MW electricity from Pakistan for onward supply to Afghanistan.

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