Islamabad chamber wants trade agreements revised
Posted on September 16th, 2016

Courtesy The Daily Times (Pakistan)

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Friday called upon the government to revise Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) signed with various countries in order to improve exports and trade competitiveness of Pakistan.

A statement, quoting ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh, said that as per the latest data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s exports during July-August 2016 had fallen by 8.19 percent compared to same period of previous year, thus widening trade balance by 27.28 percent.

“Countries normally sign FTAs and PTAs with an aim to increase market access for their exports and enhance their trade competitiveness; however, FTAs and PTAs signed by Pakistan have mostly led to increase in import of subsidised consumer goods and exposure of our domestic industry, especially SMEs to unfair competition,” he added.

The trade agreements, he said, singed by Pakistan with countries including China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka Iran, Indonesia and Mauritius have had not achieved desired results as yet.

He said the main objective of trade agreements should be to save domestic industry from negative implications and boost the country’s exports, trade competitiveness and value-addition.

He stressed the need that the government should sign trade agreements after thorough consultation with stakeholders to achieve optimum results from such deals.

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