7th round of talks on Pak-Thailand FTA to be held from May 17-19

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ISLAMABAD, April 20 (APP): Seventh round of talks between
Pakistan and Thailand would be held from May 17 to 19 to reach a final
decision on bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Both sides have exchanged the offer list of items for free
trade, including automobile and textile sectors for removing
the reservation of both sectors, a senior official of Ministry of Commerce Thursday said.
Pakistan and Thailand would finalize and sign the FTA after achieving
consensus between private sector of both countries, in order to protect the particular sectors of local industries from both sides.
Pakistan Automobile Association, delegation has negotiated
with the Thailand automobile sector for evolving consensus to reach
on solution for final draft of FTA agreement,
He said that business delegations from Thailand would also
visits Pakistan to negotiate with local business community in coming
months and FTA between both of the countries likely to be signed in
coming months of June 2017.
The 7th round on FTA negotiation would start between Pakistan
and Thailand in coming month of May,which discusses on the text of
agreement, tariff reduction modality,request list by both side and
under preparation offers list was also in negotiation,he said.
The official said that Thailand has comparative advantage in
around 1000 commodities,chiefly electrical and electronic
appliances,machinery and components and automobiles and parts.
He added that similarly Pakistan had relative advantages in
some 684 commodities including cotton yarn and woven textiles, ready
made garments,leather products,surgical instruments and sports
goods.
Negotiations for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were formally
launched during Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting between Pakistan
and Thailand was held here on August 13, 2015, he remarked.
Talking about the FTA with China, the official said, that
Phase-II of the FTA with China was also due.
He, however added that Pakistan was desirous to have duty
relaxation on 45 products before launching the phase-II.
“We demanded unilateral relaxation on 45 different product for
coming three years before signing Phase-II of FTA.” the official
said.
Replying to question,he said that Pakistan wanted relaxation
on these products to protect the local market and ensure
competitiveness.
He was of the view that once the Phase-II of FTA with China is
launched, it would bound both the countries to have zero tariffs,
however at this stage it would be difficult for Pakistani economy to
provide such concessions.