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Exports likely to touch $23.5b by June this year

Exports likely to touch $23.5b by June this year

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce and Textile is expecting gradual increase in the country’s exports volume which would touch $23.5 billion by the end of the financial year 2017-18.

“We are in consultation with all the stakeholders, including chambers of commerce and traders, for developing consensus on Strategic Policy Framework (STPF),” a top official of the Ministry of Commerce told APP on Sunday.

He said initial draft for STPF would be prepared in February and the commerce policy 2018-19 would be announced in July this year.

He said in last seven months, 12 to 13 percent growth was witnessed in the exports, which was a good omen and hoped that the increasing trend would continue.

Replying to a question regarding the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with different countries, he said the FTA between Pakistan and Thailand would be signed in March for enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries.

He said Pakistan and Thailand exchanged final lists of the FTA on December 30, 2017 for increasing trade liberalization. The two sides also exchanged the final offer lists of items for free trade to remove reservations.

He said Pakistan had relative advantage over Thailand in some 684 commodities, including cotton yarn and woven textiles, readymade garments, leather products, surgical instruments and sports goods.

As regards the second phase of Pak-China FTA, he said China had agreed to provide market access to 65 items, shared by Pakistan besides providing concession on all items included in the offer list during the talks held in Beijing.

The next round of negotiations would be held in mid of January in Islamabad, he added. The official said Pakistan desired to have duty relaxation on 65 products which China had already given to the Association of South East Asian Nation countries.