FTAs tilt in favour of partner countries

Amanullah Khan


The trade and industry unable to counter the influx of products from countries having Free Trade Agreements with Pakistan are demanding a second thought over the FTA weigh heavily on the domestic industry.
In this respect the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry FPCCI has urged Government to re-visit the prevailing Free Trade & Preferential Trade agreements as they are heavily in favour of Partner Countries.
The President Mr. Zubair Tufail in his statement has said that although FPCCI supports the bilateral trade agreements with different countries and Regional blocks to enhance Pakistan’s trade relations with them but these are to be based on mutual benefits and at the same time protecting Pakistan’s economic interests.
Due to Prevailing FTAs Pakistan’s imports have jumped by 300% in the last three years putting an unbearable burden on the Foreign Exchange reserves. While at the same time the Exports are on constant decline thus widening the trade deficit to an alarming level of US $ 32 billion. This situation is not sustainable for long and some effective measures must be taken without wasting any time.
He further said that due to FTAs & PTAs foreign goods have flooded the local market. Similarity of these products with those manufactured locally has almost destroyed the local Industry and units are being shut down at massive pace causing severe damage to the Country’s Economy. This has increased unemployment and at the same time are discouraging investors to set up new Industries.
Mr. Zubair Tufail demanded that in the larger interest of the Country the Government should form a committee of experts to examine these agreements to identify the clauses, products and agreed tariff concessions, which are detrimental to Pakistan’s Industry and economy.
He urged the government to immediately re-negotiate these agreements with the Partner Countries to amend them appropriately to bring in a balance to benefit all Partners equally and specially remove factors, which are having negative implication on Pakistan’s trade and industry.

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