On 15th March 2018, meeting was held in Ministry of Commerce – Islamabad, in presence of Dr. Miftah Ismail (Advisor to PM on Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs) and Secretary Commerce Younus Dagha, wherein presentation was made to the private sector led by Mr. Ghazanfar Bilour President FPCCI, Mr. Amir Waheed, President of Islamabad CCI, Mr. ZahidLatif Khan, President Rawalpindi CCI and others.
It was informed that Pakistan will reduce Customs Duty to Zero% on 70% tariff lines and China will do the same for Pakistani goods. FPCCI President and others demanded to place 70% tariff lines on website for study of all stakeholders, which was denied by Commerce Secretary. He offered to have another meeting in next 10 days with the stakeholders where they can give the details of tariff lines to concerned sectors.
FPCCI is concerned that FTA Part-1 resulted in favour of China, where their exports to Pakistan are more than US$ 15 billin and Pakistani exports to China stand around $1.5 billion in last year.
Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir, Senior Vice President of FPCCI feels that 2nd round of FTA will give more advantage to Chinese exporters and resulting further closure of Pakistani Industries and also significant increase in joblessness. He proposes that FTA imports be related to Pakistani exports and China must meet 25% imports from Pakistan against their export value to our country, i.e. If China exports touch US$ 20b, they must import $5b goods from Pakistan. Otherwise there is no benefit to the Pakistani economy with the current FTA or 2nd round of FTA.
While negotiating 2nd round of FTA, Pakistani existing Industries must be protected as well as market gap for new potential local industry.
We have high respect for China-Pakistan friendship, but we must protect the economic interest of Pakistan. If 2nd round of FTA is implemented in present manner, our import dependence will increase to 40-50% from China in next 5 years.
It is also suggested that finalization of 2nd round FTA be postponed till after elections.