Pakistan’s export to Central Asian countries increased: Khurram

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ISLAMABAD, March 17 (APP): Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram
Dastgir Khan on Friday said that Pakistan’s export to Central Asian
Countries has been increased during last three years from US $ 19.546 to $ 39.9 million.
Speaking in the Upper House during question hour session, he
said Pakistan was not importing Medium- Density Fiberboard (MDF)
sheets from Sri Lanka at a higher price.
He said in fact, these were at a lower price as Pakistan is
applying Zero duty under the Pakistan – Sri Lanka Free Trade
Agreement (PSFTA).
He said Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nations (MFN) tariff for the
MDF sheets was 16% while MDF sheets were being imported at reduced
rates from Sri Lanka only because of the concessions given under the
Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA).
Under the 1st Phase of Pak-China FTA (2007-2012), the tariff
lines falling under the Medium- Density Fiberboard (MDF) have not
been given preferential treatment, he added.
Furthermore, he said, even in the negotiations on the 2nd
Phase of CPFTA which started in 2011, no commitment so far has been
made with regard to the grant of preferential treatment to the
import of products falling under the description MDF.
The minister said that the main reason for not granting
concessions to countries like China and Malaysia was to protect the
local industry.
Dastgir said that in order to enhance Pakistan’s trade with
the Central Asian States, the Ministry of Commerce and TDAP has been
taken many step.
Ministry of Commerce, he said through Trade Development
Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) organized a Central Asia Trade Caravan/
Road Shows in Kazakhstan, Kyrgvzstan, and Tajikistan in May 2016.
The series of events were aimed at encouraging Pakistani
businessmen and trade bodies to establish contacts with their
counterparts and to create awareness in the Central Asian markets
about Pakistani products, he added.
Efforts are also being made to enter into an FTA with Eurasian
Economic Union of which Kazakhstan is the only Central Asian
member country, he added.
Trade bodies representing the private sectors were encouraged
by Ministry of Commerce and TDAP to increase interactions with the
business community through exchange of delegations and participation
in trade fairs, the minister remarked.