ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Assembly was told that the trade balance between Pakistan and China has shrinked to $10.8 billion during the fiscal year (2018-19) as compared to the previous year (2017-18) i.e. $14 billion, the Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency reported on Thursday.
In a written reply to a question by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) lawmaker Sheikh Fayyaz Ud Din, the Minister for Commerce and Textile told the House that prior to the signing of Phase-II of the Free Trade Agreement with China, the Ministry of Commerce has taken into account the interests of the Pakistani industrialist through substantive consultation process with different chambers and trade associations.
Based on these consultations, the minister told, the following steps have been taken to protect the Pakistani industrialists under Phase-II of Trade Agreement with China;
- All sensitive sectors have been protected and are not subject to duty reduction
- Increase in the protected list of Pakistan from 10% to 25% that come around 1760 tariff lines
- Strengthened Safeguard Mechanism to protect domestic products against surge in Chinese imports.
Volume of imports from India has declined in wake of Pulwama attack
To another question by PML-N’s Muhammad Moeen Wattoo, the Minister for Commerce and Textile told that the volume of imports from India has declined in wake of Pulwama attack.
The minister told that imports from India remained US$ 965 million from February-June 2018 whereas this year the figures have declined to US$ 611 million in the corresponding period.
The minister further told that though trade equation with India is already skewed in favour of India as Pakistan imports more than it exports. He said that 200% duty imposed by India on imports of Pakistani goods has impacted Pakistan’s exports, though the impact remains little on overall export of Pakistan due to meagre share of exports to India.
The Commerce and Textile Minister also told that there is no ban on import of potatoes and tomatoes from India. However, tomatoes (HS Code 0702.0000) and potatoes (HS Code0710.1000) are importable from India through land route from Wagha only.