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Pakistan gets duty relief from China like ASEAN states

Pakistan Now Enjoys Duty-Free Status from China

KARACHI – Pakistan now has a level playing field with the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for its exports to China, which has removed duties on more Pakistani products under the second phase of the Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and China (FTA), said the advisor to the Prime Minister of Trade and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood, Express Tribune reported Friday.
Speaking at a sensitization seminar on the second phase of the Pakistan-China FTA, the minister stressed that it was now up to the companies to take advantage of China’s tariff relief and exploit the export potential.
Pakistan will soon enter the second phase of the FTA where it will be able to export hundreds of additional products to China duty-free.
Dawood pointed out that it was a step in the right direction and that no country could prosper without exports. “We are changing our focus from a consumer-oriented society to an export-oriented society.”
Speaking on this occasion, the deputy secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Shafiq Ahmed Shahzad, agreed that there were gaps in the first phase of the FTA, “which have been corrected now”.
He said that the first phase is reciprocal, while the second is more oriented towards Pakistan.
In the ninth round of negotiations for the second phase, held in February 2018, China agreed to change the ratio of liberalization of tariff lines and trade value to 67 percent for Pakistan and 90 percent for China.
In the eleventh round of negotiations held in March 2019, he said, China agreed to eliminate tariffs on 313 Pakistani products similar to concessions granted to ASEAN member countries with an increase of 257 tariff lines.
Priority tariff lines will include food products, textiles, machinery, vehicles and others. China imports $64 billion of these 313 products. Dawood urged exporters to target a 10% share of the $ 64 billion and called it a feasible goal.
On the other hand, on total exports from Pakistan, these 313 products bring in $ 9 billion in revenue. “China has therefore granted Pakistan an advantage equivalent to nearly half of its exports,” said Dawood.
China’s total import bill now stands at more than $2 trillion, which is expected to grow to $ 5 trillion by 2023, he added.
During the second phase of the FTA, Pakistan managed to expand its own confidential list of 1,410 to 1,760 items, according to the deputy secretary. These products will not be imported from China and the domestic market will be safeguarded.
In 2012-13, Pakistan exported goods worth $ 2.4 billion to China, down to $ 1.7 billion in 2017-2018. The second phase of the FTA is expected to boost exports.
(Sahar News/Monitoring Desk)

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