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Pakistan, China agree on duty free access to 313 tariff lines

Pakistan, China agree on duty free access to 313 tariff lines

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have signed second phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) under which both the countries have agreed allowing duty free access to 313 tariff lines.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang witnessed the signing ceremony at a meeting on the conclusion of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing, according to media reports.

Officials at the ministry of commerce said that China had agreed to grant Pakistan duty free access same as give to ASEAN countries. They said that Pakistan and China had agreed on giving duty free access to around 75 percent tariff lines.

The officials said that Pakistan would get duty free access to 313 tariff lines. This relaxation would help Pakistan to improve exports to China by $6.5 billion during next five years.

They said that Pakistan would able to export duty free goods including textile, leather, agriculture, chemical, engineering, plastic, furniture etc.

According to the commerce ministry protection to local industry was given priority in signing the free trade agreement. It is also agreed to put 1,700 tariff lines from China on sensitive list.

The officials said that China imports around $40 billion annually those items from various countries, which Pakistan export to China. The agreement would help 90 percent Pakistani products accessing Chinese markets.

Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, who is also in China, said that around 400 Chinese investors attended Pak-China Business Forum and they had shown interest to enter Pakistani market.

He said that Pakistan and China had signed free trade agreement. Besides this agreement both the countries also signed 16 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) including agriculture, Information Technology, Chemical etc.

He said that the free trade agreement would attract investors into Pakistan. Further Pakistan will get same benefits under free trade agreement what ASEAN countries are availing.