RAWALPINDI: The Second Phase of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA-II) is a huge step and great opportunity for the business community of Pakistan. This is a commendable initiative to strengthen trade liberalization and deepen the all-weather strategic partnership between Pakistan and China. Pakistan can increase its export by 1 billion dollars in short term while the export of these items is likely to touch 4-5 billion dollars in the medium term after setting up new industries in the Special Economic Zones being constructed in Pakistan under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
These remarks were made by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Saboor Malik at the awareness seminar organized by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
He informed that China has eliminated tariffs on 313 products. This is a huge step and great opportunity for the business community of Pakistan.
Tariff lines includes textile, garments, seafood, animal products, prepared food, leather, chemicals, plastic, oilseeds and engineering goods including tractors, auto parts, home appliances, gems and jewelry, cement, footwear, chemicals, plastics, rubber, paper and semi-finish goods. However it mostly includes non-technological goods.
RCCI president cautioned that by exporting only Agriculture products Pakistan cannot survive in the world of the 21st Century, Pakistan needs to increase its technological advancements and exports to catch up with the rising Economies of the World. He demanded to facilitate those producers and existing industry of Pakistan who have the direct relevance and export potential for exporting products in these 313 items.
Other areas where Government of Pakistan should consider facilitation are: Delay in clearance through state banks which has always been a problem for the exporters. Lot more work needed to be done in collaboration with government institutions to reap benefits of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement Phase 2.
There is a need for conducting awareness sessions regarding China Pakistan free trade agreement. Still people don’t know about GSP and GSP Plus awarded by Europe and America and only few sectors are getting the limited benefit from these facilities. We strongly recommend that this agreement should be advertised on mass level so that maximum businesses take benefit of this facility, he added.
I would also recommend that this is the high time to start the thought process about CPFTA phase 3 which we recommend should include highly sophisticated and technological products from Pakistan like Software, Computer Tech, Mobiles, electric chips, auto mobiles etc.