PR No. 8 Islamabad

Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan chaired a meeting as a guest of honor, between Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) & delegation of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT).

The commerce minister welcomed Mr. Wangyu, Vice Chairman CCCT and the rest of the Chinese delegation to Pakistan. The minister appreciated the MoU on the Cooperation between Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) & China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel that included Promotion of Trade and Investment cooperation, exchange of ideas for developing the sector, organizing and participating in Fairs, exchange of information and support in business partner search, visits and events participation, training and working group arrangements and said that the government of Pakistan & Commerce Ministry in particular will encourage and  support the cooperation that has begun between the CCCT and PRGMEA.

Speaking on the occasion, the honorable commerce minister said that while FTA with china is still Pakistan’s best and widest FTA but still we have noted that since 2006 china has done many more and wider FTAs with other regions and countries in which, china has offered deeper concessions to other regions compare to Pakistan. “On govt. to govt. level we are trying to restore the margin of preference that Pakistan originally had in 2006 and we urge through the, CCCT to also speak to the govt. of china that Pakistan-China FTA requires restoration of Preference”, added Khurram Dastgir Khan.

Khurram Dastgir Khan cited this as one of the reasons due to which Trade imbalance between Pakistan and China has increased. Commerce Minister suggested two major steps as way forward. “As govt. we are trying our best to address the trade imbalance through reducing trade barriers and Pakistani govt. will provide full support in reducing any barriers to the formation of joint ventures between Pakistani and Chinese companies”, added the minister.

Minister sought suggestions both from the CCCT and PRGMEA on how to discuss with Beijing on what form of dispute resolution mechanism should be adopted and said that we are already in touch with the embassy of china in Islamabad regarding Visas for business people. Minister also informed that today on the 3rd of July the first energy project under CPEC has been completed that is the 1320 MW electricity plant at Sahiwal.

The Commerce Minister urged that it is important to work hard in this economic partnership and said that part of that economic partnership is also to have a knowledge partnership between two partners.