Pakistan has urged China to immediately allow 90 per cent of its imports duty free and find out ways to resolve wide discrepancy in bilateral trade statistics
Pakistan has urged China to immediately allow 90 per cent of its imports duty free and find out ways to resolve wide discrepancy in bilateral trade statistics. This was stated by Commerce Minister, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan. He was in China to attend a conference of Commerce Ministers of Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO).
“It was the first formal meeting between the Commerce Ministers of the two countries in two and a half years. I have urge my Chinese counterpart to allow entry of 90 per cent items duty free with immediate effect whereas there will be no change in China’s status,” he added. The second round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA-II) will be held soon in Beijing. Pakistani team will be led by Additional Secretary Robina Athar.
Replying to a question, the Commerce Minister said Pakistan has also proposed that customs officials of both countries should hold a meeting to resolve serious discrepancies in trade statistics as there is a difference of $3- 4 billion in the trade figures of the two countries. Answering another question, he said Pakistan has also suggested that China should set up a special section or appoint a focal person to resolve business disputes between Pakistanis and Chinese because Chinese legal procedure is very complicated; he added that language is another issue.
In reply to another question, he said certification procedure for Pakistani agriculture and horticulture is very long and tedious and there is a need to expedite the process. Pakistan will also make all-out efforts to complete the documents so that export of meat and fruits including dry fruits and cherries from Gilgit Baltistan is facilitated properly. The Commerce Minister stated that Pakistan requested China to increase rice purchase from Pakistan. “There was an impression that exports of rice to China is based on quota but there is no quota; however rice purchases are based on certain restrictions put in place by the Chinese government,” Khan continued. Pakistan is trying to increase rice exports to China. The Minister further stated there is no issue on Sost border with China. And there is no trade dispute between the two countries but these are business disputes.
“My meeting with Chinese counterpart was very constructive and he promised to resolve all Pakistan’s issues positively,” he further added. The Commerce Minister said he held a meeting with his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the conference and discussed the follow-up of recent visit of Iranian officials to Pakistan including proposed five-year roadmap between the two countries (Businessobserver)