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$7.5b imports against $2.5b exports to China: Business community expresses concern over FTAs

$7.5b imports against $2.5b exports to China: Business community expresses concern over FTAs

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF), expressing concerns over Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed with Malaysia, Sri Lanka and China without consulting the stakeholders, has said that the stance is destroying the local industry.

APBF Executive Committee, in a meeting under the chairmanship of President Ibrahim Qureshi, has urged the government to take business community in confidence before finalising FTAs with other countries.

Qureshi said that the business community is the real stakeholders which should be consulted in preparing trade policies. The APBF has been receiving complaints from its members about the dumping of Chinese products, he said, adding that dumping is the main concern of local industries, particularly of steel products, polyester staple fiber and many other products.

The APBF president said that Pakistan imported products of $7.5 billion from China against exports of $2.5 billion. He added that Pakistan had been continuously suffering a loss of Rs22 billion on account of tax exemptions granted to imports from China. Free trade access to China could not be fully utilized in favour of Pakistan, because Beijing did not reduce duties on products where Pakistani sectors enjoyed a competitive advantage.