Prime Minister lauded for suspending trade talks with China

Islamabad, April 11, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday lauded the decision of the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to suspend the FTA negotiations with China. The decision is praiseworthy as the national interests were kept supreme in it on any other consideration, it said. The local business community has also informed the government well before the talks on the second round of FTA that further relaxations to the friendly country will damage the local industry beyond repair.

The Chinese side had refused to give any relaxation to Pakistan which was not expected by our officials, he said, adding that after suspension of talks the Chinese side has shown some flexibility which is good. Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan and China signed an FTA on Nov 24, 2006, which boosted Pakistani exports to China from 575 million dollars to 2.6 billion dollars while it increased Chinese exports to Pakistan $3.5 billion to $14 billion resulting in a large deficit.

The losses in trade with China continue to increase by the passage of every year which Pakistani exports continue to slide as China has given more relaxations to other countries. India and Vietnam have replaced Pakistani products in the Chinese market because Pakistan’s interests were not preferred by the Chinese authorities. He said under-invoicing by the Chinese exporters has also become a threat to the Pakistan economy which should be tackled.

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