ECOT to be major step towards ECO free trade

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Muhammad Arshad

Islamabad

Federal Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Friday, said that expeditious implementation of the ECOTA tariff concessions would be a major step towards minimizing barriers to trade and ultimately establishing a free trade area in the ECO region.
ECOTA was reached on July 17, 2003 at the ECO summit in Islamabad whereby a free trade region was formed between the countries of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Although signed, the ECOTA is not yet in effect.
Talking to the visiting ECO Secretary General Halil Ibrahim Akca, Minister for Commerce observed that Pakistan attached high importance to the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA). The minister said that Turkish government must open ECOTA concession list because Pakistan seriously considers the ECOTA Agreement and has already opened its concession list. Pakistan, designated as the coordinating country of ECOTA, had taken a lead in opening ECOTA concession list to the ECO Secretariat in 2008.
Later, chairing an inter-ministerial meeting attended by secretary textile and secretary commerce, he said that the required notifications for both textile and non-textile sectors based upon the announcement made by the honourable Prime Minister to give duty drawback package to exporters has now been issued and the required circular is expected any day.
The minister further said that all the procedural formalities have been completed and very soon the exporters will be able to take advantage of the package as it will be available for exporters from 16thof January.