ISLAMABAD (APP) – Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said under the recently signed China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement-II (CPFTA) Pakistan would get $6.5 billion annual share of total Chinese imports of $64 billion.
“We get the same status in CPFTA-II as has been given to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries for exploiting the entire 313 duty free tariff lines provided by the China to access its market,” he said while talking to anchor-persons here at in Ministry of Commerce. Secretary Commerce Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera was also present.
The advisor said Pakistan had to face trade deficit with China after the latter signed FTA with ASIAN countries in 2010-11. However, now the duty-free export of 313 tariff lines provided a huge opportunity to Pakistan to decrease trade deficit with China, he added. He said Vietnam had increased its exports to China after signing of the China–ASEAN FTA.
Replying to a question, he said under the CPFTA would turn around Pakistan’s economy, particularly export-based industry. The local exporters now had a big opportunity to capture the Chinese market. The government was taking steps to make the Pakistani products competitive in the international market, he added.
The adviser said a two-pronged strategy had been evolved for proper execution of the CPFTA and to exploit the 313 tariff lines to the maximum. “We want to increase our exports to China and also bring the Chinese investment to Pakistan.”
Razak said China wanted to relocate its industry in other countries and the government desired to get maximum Chinese industrial units shifted to Pakistan.
He said,“We missed the first phase 10 ten years ago when China shifted its industry mostly to ASEAN countries, especially Vietnam and Malaysia.” Now in the second phase, China wanted to shift the garments, leather and home appliances industry, he added.
He said Pakistan could export key products like textiles, leather, engineering goods, electronics, plastics, sea food, apparel, foot ware and jewelry under the 313 tariff lines.
Replying to another question, he said,“We successfully negotiated and finalized terms and conditions to safeguard the local industry and get the period of 15 years to gradually open the some potential areas of local industry for trade with China.”
He said if any industry was hurt, Pakistan could get measures to protect the particular industrial unit for 90 days. He said iron, steel, agriculture, plastic, ceramics and surgical goods would need protection and safeguards.