FTA dialogue with China, Indonesia on advanced stage: Senate Body told

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ISLAMABAD : Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile Industry was informed on Tuesday that dialogues with China and Indonesia to finalize Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were in advanced stage and would be concluded by the next month.

“Good news is expected from Indonesia by end of current month whereas talks with China were also going on positively which are expected to be finalized by next month,” Secretary Commerce Muhammad Younus Dhaga said while briefing the committee.

He said negotiations for FTA with Iran were also under process in very friendly atmosphere as both sides are ready to give concessions to each others.

He said the two countries have also entered into Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) to recognize standards of goods to be traded across the borders.

The meeting of the committee was presided over by Senator Shibli Faraz and was attended by Senators Mufti Abdulsatar, Robina Khalid, Haji Saifullah Bangish, and Naseema Ehsan.

The Chairman directed the ministry to improve capacity building of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to run the department on modern lines.

The Secretary informed that a data center was being established under TDAP to compile sector wise trade data independently.

He said it the center would not only compile national data but also international data to get a comparative data with other countries.

Regarding inflow of investment under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Shibli Faraz questioned that why the investment money was not coming to the country through proper channel.

The Secretary said that most of the machinery was being imported so China is transferring money to the companies directly.

The meeting was also informed that the ministry was planning to establish new councils in leather, rice, and pharmaceuticals to further promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The Chairman directed to also focus on engineering sector of the country as this sector had always been neglected. He by giving attention to this sector, Pakistan could not only become self-sufficient in engineering sector but also could export engineering goods.

Orignally published by NNI

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