ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Muhammad Pervaiz Malik has said that in order to enhance regional trade, the government is playing proactive role in activating two most important regional organizations South Asian Association (SAARC) and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
Pakistan is in process of consulting its stakeholders for preparing a separate shorter sensitive list for the least developed countries of SAARC.
All member countries are in the process of further reducing their respective sensitive lists by 20%. In reply to query from Customs Today the federal minister said the agreement on the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was signed during the 12th SAARC summit held in Islamabad on 6th January, 2004.
The Tariff Liberalization Program under SAFTA has been fully implemented by all the member countries. Pakistan was to hold a South Asia Business Leaders Conclave before the SAARC Summit which would have provided an opportunity to all the leading business communities of South Asia to come together for the benefit of regional commerce.
Unfortunately, due to postponement of SAARC Summit, the holding of the event has also been delayed. Pakistan has also been recommending expeditious action on the formation of ECO Reinsurance Company with headquarter in Karachi.