Transit trade accord with CARs planned
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce is considering entering into Transit Trade Agreements with land locked Central Asian Republics (CARs).
This was stated by Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan at the end of Envoys Conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
According to a message received here from ministry of commerce on Thursday he said that such arrangement with these countries would provide an enhanced market access for Pakistani goods.
In the conference, in-depth consultations were held to assess Pakistan’s export potential in each of these countries. Areas such as import tariffs, non-tariff barriers, payment problems and visa restrictions were thoroughly discussed. The possibilities of entering into bilateral and regional trading arrangements were comprehensively explored in the conference. The conference offered an excellent opportunity to the prominent Pakistani businessmen as well as Central Asian businessmen of Pakistani origin to explore business opportunities in Pakistan.
The Minister stated that holding such conferences was a new concept and similar conferences would be arranged in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Asia Pacific. “The main thrust of these conferences is to develop a comprehensive strategy for increasing and diversifying Pakistan exports to this region”, Mr. Khan said.
Commerce Minister gave a detailed briefing on Pakistan economy and trade to the Central Asian businessmen of Pakistani origin. He said that Pakistan had a free trade regime with lowest duties in the region.
He expressed that Pakistan’s trade regime was a great attraction for the forward thinking businessmen and companies. The Minister said that Pakistan used to have a top rate of customs duty 120% excluding other tariff peaks. The number of applied rate was as huge as 42% and four complex taxation systems namely ad valorem, specific, alternate and composite were being applied which made business activity very complicated.
“It is now a matter of great satisfaction that the first generation of macro economic reforms has been completed under which the tariff structure has massively been simplified in extensive consultation with the private sector stakeholders”, he said.
He stated that as a consequence of these massive reforms, the business environment had become friendly and conducive in Pakistan. Mr. Khan expressed that the business confidence in Pakistan had immensely increased which was an encouraging factor for the business community. —Staff Report