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LAHORE: The Coordinator to Federal Tax Ombudsman Meher Kashif Younis urged Pak exporters for fully exploring the freshly fruitful opportunities of preferential trade with Turkiye to boost bilateral trade volume across various sectors.

Speaking at a seminar on “Benefits of Preferential Trade Agreement between Turkiye and Pakistan” held here on Sunday under the aegis of Gold Ring Economic Forum, a strategic think tank, he stressed the need to increase business-to-business interaction for strengthening trade and investment relations between the two Muslim brotherly countries.

He said agreement signifies a notable milestone in the historic brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkiye and envisages further integration of the markets and business communities of both countries.

He said the total trade between Pakistan and Turkiye stood at $883 million in the fiscal year 2021-22 with Pakistan’s exports to Turkiye amounting to $366m and Pakistan’s imports from that country amounting to $517m. The balance of trade is in favour of Turkiye with a negative trade balance of $151m in 2021-22, he added. He said this agreement will open new export opportunities.

Turkiye will reduce the duty to zero per cent on 92 tariff lines during a period between five and 10 years. Pakistan’s export value of these products is $1.608bn, while Turkish global imports stand at $2.084bn and duty will be exempted on certain items he added.

He said under the agreement, Pakistan has gained preferential access to the Turkish market under 261 tariff lines covering traditional as well as non-traditional sectors such as leather, rice, dates, mangoes, cutlery, sports goods, seafood, processed agricultural products, rubber tubes and tyres, plastics, and engineering goods. He said Pakistan’s export value of these tariff lines stands at $5.1 billion or 16 per cent of the total exports, while Turkish global imports in these products amount to $7.6bn.

Meher Kashif Younis said either sides inked agreement for duty reduction on mutually agreed tariff lines with effect from May 01.He said Turkiye has offered a margin of preferences and tariff rate quota on agriculture products to Pakistan.

The categories of products which will get benefit from the concessions are leather, footwear, glass and ceramics, articles of base metal, plastics and rubber, furniture, mattresses and lamps, sports and engineering goods, chemicals and cosmetics, agriculture products and processed agriculture.

He said in return Pakistan will reduce to zero per cent in five to 10 years on 16 tariff lines. Turkish global exports of these tariff lines stand at $2.123bn, while Pakistan’s imports of these products are $684m.

Winding up he called upon the Pak business community to explore untapped hidden exports markets of Turkiye which can further help lead to European countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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