LAHORE: Islamabad is expected to get tax-free access for the entry of 313 Pakistani products into the Chinese market from next month, under an upgraded free trade agreement with Beijing, the commerce adviser said on Tuesday.
Adviser to PM Razak Dawood said the second phase of the free trade agreement (FTA) with China was going to be operational from December 1.
“The phase-II is going to facilitate the access of 313 top export items into Chinese market,” Dawood said, addressing a world fashion convention. “After this agreement, all the major exports of the country especially value-added textile items would have better excess into Chinese market.”
The commerce adviser said this would help Pakistan come at par with the south east Asian economies in Chinese market, providing a huge opportunity of tariff relaxation to the manufacturers especially the garment sector to enhance their export volume with growth potential of 20 times.
“Government’s major economic agenda is to increase country’s exports, which would strengthen the economy by overcoming trade and current account deficits,” he said.
Dawood said China has provided Pakistan with an opportunity to export chemicals and engineering goods as well, as the government wants to take export to the highest level ever through business-friendly policies. The government is taking different measures for export enhancement, including reclaiming traditional markets besides getting access to the new markets.
“Garment exports are on upward trajectory due to additional market access secured by the current government.”
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) hosted the convention in collaboration with the International Apparel Federation (IAF). Commerce adviser said the Chinese companies started construction work in Lahore and Faisalabad to explore business in textile sector. These companies have started locating business centres in different parts of the country.
Referring to the lowering exports of yarn and fabrics, he said this is good for Pakistan, as it would provide the opportunity to textile sector for more focus on value addition.
Dawood said after the World Fashion Convention in Pakistan the economy of the country would be more integrated into the global economy and this linkage would bring foreign investment into the country.
“The convention will prove to be an unprecedented positive event in the country’s business environment, which would enhance the overall image of the country at the world level and help promote investment to the country,” he said.
IAF President Han Bekke said the federation represents apparel associations from 60 countries, having overall membership of more than 150,000 companies. Pakistan is also the member of IAF and its regional office has also been set up in the office of PRGMEA in Sialkot. The theme of the 35th edition of this well-established global apparel convention is collaborative growth with sustainability for all.
Bekke said the IAF is a global platform uniting apparel buyers with manufacturers and this crucial relationship is at the heart of the conference, as “we focus on growing together”. The convention has gathered apparel industry leaders from across the world and provides a unique opportunity for Pakistani apparel industry to learn new techniques.
IAF Regional President Ijaz Khokhar said the convention was aimed at opening new avenues for the domestic garment industry to collaborate with the international buyers and leading global brands.
The event has been attended by world class speakers, offering global network opportunities during the conference. The convention is held every year in one of the member countries. Khokhar said Russia and Bangladesh had also applied for the 35th Convention. Pakistan won the convention bid with full struggle and proper presentation. “In the world class convention, there is a detailed presentation on Pakistan and apparel industry for creating awareness about the potential of Pakistan as production hub of textile items especially garments,” he added.
PRGMEA North Zone Chairman Sohail Afzal Sheikh said the mega convention provides an opportunity to its participants to discuss issues being faced by the global industry and also to network at a global level.