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Chinese Delegation Will Visit Pakistan for 3rd Round of FTA Talks Next Month

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Pakistan, China will hold third round of negotiation on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Islamabad next month. A high levea delegation of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce will visit Pakistan in March to discuss related issues with its counterparts from the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan.

According to the sources, the two countries wish to expedite the negotiation process, in order to complete it by the end of this year. The second round of talks held in Beijing December last year was quite productive to develop common grounds to have duty-free access of essential products in their local markets.

The two countries have already started implementing Early Harvest Programme (EHP), reducing tariff duty to almost 27 per cent on mutually agreed import and export items. EHP, often a prelude before an FTA, is a framework offering quick tariff reduction on some products so that each country could feel the benefits of a FTA earlier.

According to the EHP, some 486 categories of Chinese goods, mainly textile machinery and organic chemical products exported to Pakistan now enjoy the zero-tariff treatment.

Similarly, China gives zero-tariff treatment to 769 categories of goods imported from Pakistan, mainly vegetables, fruit, stone materials, cotton fabrics and home-made textile products.

The bilateral trade between the two countries expanded quickly last year, registering 39.1 rise in Pakistan's export to China.



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