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Pakistan mulls PTA with UK

ISLAMABAD: The government considers negotiating a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with the United Kingdom after its exit from the European Union, said Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question of MNA Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi, the minister said the only way forward is to negotiate a preferential trade treaty with the UK. However, he stressed on exporters to improve competitiveness of their products through diversification and value addition.

He said Bexit is unlikely to have any major impact on Pakistan’s relations with the UK, EU and its member states. However, Islamabad will lose a close friend and supporting voice in the EU particularly on economic matters such as GSP+.

He hopes Pakistan-UK trade will increase in the event of a favourable preferential trade agreement is reached between the two countries. With Britain’s exit from the EU, Pakistan exporters will have to find another first port of entry for the EU markets, the minister added.

He said a weak sterling could result in a fall in the value of remittances to Pakistan from the UK, however.

The total volume of merchandise trade between the two countries during the last year was £1.584 billion which included Pakistan exports of £1.069bn to UK.

With the renewed commitment showed by the British government to continue to support current trade arrangement with Pakistan, it is hoped that the volumes of trade will continue to expand and the trade target of £4bn set in the latest review of Joint Trade and Investment Roadmap under the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue will be achieved.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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