Negotiate access of 50 high potential export items to Thailand before signing FTA: PBC report suggests government

482
Negotiate access of 50 high potential export items to Thailand before signing FTA: PBC report suggests government

ISLAMABAD, Nov 11 (APP): Pakistan must ensure preferential
access for its high potential export items to Thailand before it takes decision to signs Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with it, suggested Pakistan Business Council (PBC), in its latest report.
The PBC report “2016 Second Review of the Feasibility of Free
Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Thailand,” finds that the total
trade potential within the top 50 high potential items is $1.86 billion, however, Pakistan’s exports to Thailand for these products amounted to a mere $21 million.
The exports of 50 high potential export items to the world amounted to $5.69 billion in 2015, including exports to Thailand, it said and suggested that Pakistan has potential to enhance these exports to Thailand provided it negotiates for preferential access.
These items included instruments and appliances used in medical or veterinary sciences, mandarins and cotton not carded or combed which valued at $234.9, $106.2 and $98.6 million respectively.
Currently, only 7 commodities out of top 50 potential items of Pakistan to Thailand face zero tariffs whereas Australia and New Zealand enjoy zero tariffs on 49 and 48 items respectively of these high potential export items to Thailand.
China has zero tariff access for 42 of these top 50 export items to Thailand while Indian faces zero tariffs on 21 of them.
The report also stressed the need for improving the efficiency of the National Tariff Commission so that local industries can be protected from the influx of cheap foreign goods.
It urged the government to taken into account the views of the
business community before engaging into an FTA with another country, to make it more productive and beneficial for Pakistan.
On the other hand, the total export potential within the top 50 high potential exports from Thailand to Pakistan is $6.93 billion.
In 2015, Thailand’s total exports of these 50 high potential items to Pakistan amounted to mere $140.7 million whereas Thailand’s export to the world of the same items totaled $30.9 billion.
Top Thai potential exports to Pakistan consist of telephones for cellular networks, polypropylene, in primary form and other motor cars.
According to study, Pakistan’s top imports from Thailand are capital goods, intermediate goods, transportation, consumer goods and plastic or rubber, while the smaller product groups include machines and electronic products, textiles and clothing, chemicals and raw materials.
The imports form Thailand to Pakistan have increased over the last four years from $716 million in 2012 to $852.7 million in 2015, according to the report.