The Chinese government has agreed on making amendments to the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) by providing Pakistan tariff concessions equal to those for Association of the South East Asian Nations.
The decision was taken at the ninth round of negotiations on CPFTA held in Beijing, China, which was attended by a Pakistani delegation led by Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha.
During the meeting, Dagha reiterated Pakistan’s demand for tariff concession on exports — a demand of exporters in the country — and requested for it to be accomodated in the final draft of CPFTA.
Not only tariff concession on exports, the Chinese government has also agreed on Pakistan’s demand to discontinue tariff concession on Chinese imports. The demand was made by various industries and chambers of Pakistan during pre-negotiation consultations in order to protect the local industry from Chinese products.
Dagha suggested the clauses should be incorporated in the agreement so as to safeguard the Pakistani economy from any undue pressure on the balance of payments position.
Moreover, the host government also agreed on Electronic Data Interchange, which will help reduce the chances of under invoicing, another major concern of the Pakistani industry.
At the meeting, the Chinese side was led by Peoples Republic of China Ministry of Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen and comprised 16 officials of various ministries.
The amended agreement is expected to be signed in March when the Chinese vice minister will visit Islamabad, alongwith his delegation.
The negotiations to finalise the revised version of CPFTA started in 2012.