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Pak-Thailand to start dialogue on Free Trade Agreement: Khurram

Pak-Thailand to start dialogue on Free Trade Agreement: Khurram

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Thailand would soon start dialogue on Free Trade Agreement as the Cabinet of Thailand has agreed to allow negotiations for the agreement with Pakistan.

The Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that the Ministry of Commerce would undertake intense trade diplomacy in the coming financial year to allow easy access to Pakistani exporters in lucrative international markets and regions, says a statement issued by the ministry here today.

Pakistan, he said would initiate trade dialogue with ASEAN, a 10-member bloc of East Asian countries, to get status of `Full Dialogue Partner’ by 2018.

This, he said would set the stage for a full fledge FTA with ASEAN which will open up huge markets for Pakistani products.

The minister said that the negotiations with Japan and Korea are also underway which are economic giants of East Asia and will help strengthen Pakistan’s economy.

Korean Minister for Trade has invited the Pakistani Minister for Commerce to visit Korea to further negotiate trade matters.

The minister’s visit to Korea is expected in the second half of the current calendar year and the dates of the visit are being finalized.

The Commerce minister said that the ministry through extensive research has prepared a template and framework for negotiating future PTAs and FTAs with other countries.

This framework takes into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of Pakistani economy and will help the ministry to safeguard the interests of Pakistani importers and exporters while negotiating future trade agreements. This will also eliminate the apprehensions of Pakistani business community which they had towards previous trade agreements.

The Ministry of Commerce, he said would start negotiations with Afghanistan for PTA and Thailand and Turkey for FTAs in the coming months.

Secretary Commerce visited Vietnam for trade talks and undertook decisive trade talks in Hanoi, Vietanm.