The Federal Minister for Commerce, Mr. Mohammad Pervaiz Malik and Secretary Commerce, Mr. Mohammad Younus Dagha held a meeting with the Chinese Commerce Minister, Mr. Zhong Shan and Vice Minister, Mr. Wang Shouwen on the sidelines of the WTO- 11thMinisterial Conference (MC-11) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pakistan’s Minister for Commerce highlighted the issues of bilateral trade and investment with particular focus on revision of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) which was proposed by the Secretary Commerce during the 8th round of negotiations held in September, 2017.
The Minister of Commerce reiterated the concerns of Pakistan regarding the outcomes of Free Trade Agreement raised by the Secretary Commerce during the last round of CPFTA negotiations. The Minister of Commerce apprised his Chinese counterpart of the unequal gains accrued to both the sides as a result of the Agreement.
In order to address the concerns of Pakistan and make this FTA a win-win proposition for both sides, the Minister of Commerce, Pakistan emphasized the need to revise the Agreement. The Pakistani side requested immediate restoration of the Margin of Preference (MOP) that has eroded due to Chinese FTAs with ASEAN and others. The Minister also reiterated Pakistan’s request for Chinese investment in export-oriented industry, primarily in the value added sectors, to enhance exports of Pakistan on one hand and curtail imports on the other.
The Chinese side agreed to address Pakistan’s concerns in review of Pak- China Free Trade Agreement to make it mutually beneficial for both the countries. Both the sides agreed to meet in February 2018 to finalise a revised Free Trade Agreement.