PR No. 109 Islamabad: June 14, 2016.

The Ministry of Commerce has started a thorough review of all the trade pacts through which Pakistan conducts its trade on preferable terms with other countries on bilateral basis. The review will be conducted through multiple means of stake-holders’ consultations and the analysis of trade data available. This will help provide clear guidelines to the policy makers on which the country will negotiate further trade agreements. The decision was taken by the Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan after chairing a high-level meeting in the Ministry of Commerce.

Pakistan is signatory to Free Trade Agreements with China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and Preferential Trade Agreements with Iran, Indonesia and Mauritius. These Agreements were signed in the previous decade thus provide a sufficient time frame to assess the efficacy of these agreements. Now Pakistan is in the process of negotiating Free Trade Agreements with Thailand, Turkey, South Korea and Iran which will broaden the trading opportunities for Pakistani businessmen.

The meeting noted that Pakistan’s trading partners have negotiated bilateral and multilateral trade pacts with other countries thus securing greater market access. It also observed that the demand for enhanced market access should arise from the domestic industry.

The Minister said that trade agreements compel the local industries to modernize and diversify in order to compete in the international market besides providing better choice of products to the local people. Pakistani industries should also expand and remodel themselves at the international standards, he added.