Pakistan, Iran negotiate to establish barter trade mechanism, NA told
ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Aliya Hamza Malik Thursday informed the National Assembly that Pakistan and Iran had conducted negotiations over the establishment of barter trade mechanism and to promote cooperation in the fields of customs, agriculture and industry.
Responding to questions during Question Hour, she said Ministry of Commerce had joint trade committee with Iran, co-chaired by the commerce ministers of the both countries.
She said that 8th meeting of joint trade committee was held on July 4, 2019 in Islamabad. “Both sides conducted negotiations over the establishment of barter trade mechanism, cooperation in the fields of customs, agriculture and industry, ” she said.
She said that her ministry was in the process to renew the Memorandum of Understanding between Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and International Exhibition of Iran. The MoU will help foster smooth trade flows between the two neighboring countries with trade promotional tools like exhibitions, exchange of delegations and business seminars.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that the ministry had also initiated negotiation for Free Trade Agreement (FAT) with Iran. For this purpose a Technical Negotiation Committee for Pak-Iran FTA was established.
Responding to another question, she said that, banning of trade with India had benefited the country’s growers. He said that export during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had enhanced. “Exports are witnessing growth whilst imports have been reduced” she added.
Responding to another question she said the third biennial review of GSP Plus scheme 2018-2020 was going to be completed tentatively in early February 2020. Pakistan had successfully concluded two previous reviews in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
She said that in order to prepare for the Third Biennial Review 2018-2020, the government had submitted its response to the list of issues and follow up questions including 10 identified priority areas to the European Union. Based on Pakistan’s report, EU had prepared its report which will be shared with the EU Parliament.
She said that EU had given no such indication on the withdrawal of GSP+ status from Pakistan. Extensive lobbying efforts were ongoing within Pakistan with all EU missions and in all capitals of EC countries including EU headquarter at Brussels.
In order to tap the vast Chinese market, she said, the Ministry of Commerce had launched a countrywide campaign of awareness seminars to apprise the domestic industry about business and export opportunities available under second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA-II) so that Pakistan could reap maximum benefits arising out of this agreement.
Three sessions of the awareness campaign had already been held in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, she said.
The Parliamentary Secretary said a large number of representatives of Chambers of Commerce and exporters associations of textile, apparel, leather and leather garments, footwear, animal and agricultural products, dairy, processed food, chemicals, engineering sector etc and Women Chambers of Commerce had actively participated in these events.
She said that Secretary Commerce had also written 21 sector specific letters to different public and private stakeholders to disseminate the information about prospects available under second phase of the CPFTA. – APP