Source of the News http://www.brecorder.com/market-data...nds/0/1160214/
Publication date: 07/03/2013
Pakistan's exports have increased by 7.2 percent in 2012-13 (July-January) as compared to 2011-12 (July-January), while the rate of growth in export which has been 4.5 percent will increase to 15 percent per annum to the European Union (EU) due to duty free access arrangement. The export of Pakistan in 2012-13 (July-January) was registered at $14.068 billion as compared to $13.118 billion in 2011-12 (July-January).
In order to ensure a long-term enhanced market access for Pakistani products, the EU as a result of consistent efforts by the government, has agreed to raise its import vulnerability threshold from 1 percent to 2 percent which would enable Pakistan to become eligible for EU's GSP+ Scheme from 1st January, 2014 onwards. The Ministry of Commerce is presently in the process of filing an application with EU to benefit from the scheme. It is estimated that growth rate of exports which has been 4.5 percent per annum to EU will rise to about 15 percent due to the duty free access arrangement by EU, Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim told the National Assembly in written replies to questions on Wednesday.
He said that through the efforts of Ministry of Commerce supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union has granted duty-free access to 75 percent products being exported from Pakistan under a special arrangement named "Autonomous Trade Preferences".
"The package includes 64 percent textiles (31 products of value-added textiles including home textiles and clothing and 33 products of non value-added textiles). The package also includes six products of leather, three of footwear, ethyl alcohol and dried mushrooms, he said. This package was operational from 15th November, 2012 and would be available up to 31st December, 2013, Makhdoom said.
He said that the main thrust of Ministry of Commerce policy for United States is to get maximum Market Access for Pakistani exports, especially textile items. For this purpose, Ministry of Commerce has effectively been using the forum of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) signed between Pakistan and USA in 2003. The TIFA Council meeting is held regularly every year.
The minister said that Pakistan would increase trade and exports relations with Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. He said that Pakistan would also increase its exports and trade with China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Ukraine, Canada, Chile and other countries.
He said that Pakistan would sign Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. In this regard, a draft PTA has been sent to these countries through diplomatic channels for consideration. The minister said that a five-year strategic plan to expand Pak-Iran bilateral trade has also been signed. He said, "the strategic plan aims at: (i) Annual target of 25 percent increase in bilateral trade, (ii) Improvement of infrastructure, ie, roads, railways etc and (iii) Removal of non-tariff barriers to increase bilateral trade and reduce, tariff and non tariff barriers.
He said that ministry of commerce has proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Iran and in this regard a draft text of FTA has also been provided to Iranian side for consideration, he said. About China, the minister said that Ministry of Commerce is currently in the process of preparation for the 2nd meeting of the 2nd phase of Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement (PC-FTA). The consultations with stakeholders will be completed shortly. The Chinese side has indicated that the 2nd meeting of 2nd phase of PC-FTA would be held in April, 2013.