Hopes about Sino-Pak FTA
Second phase of Sino-Pak FTA has become operational from January 1, allowing more export items from Pakistan. China has given duty free access to 313 new products worth about $ 1 billion. The new products will get duty free access to the Chinese market will include agriculture commodities, leather goods, confectionary items and biscuits. Now 1037 products can be exported to China.
China is Pakistan’s second large trading partner with 8 percent share in total exports after the United States with 17 percent share in the quantum of exports. Over the past 13 years, Pakistan was facing a massive trade deficit of over $15 billion in bilateral trade and the additional exports of new items may not substantially reduce the imbalance in merchandise account. The trade deficit will significantly go up with the import of capital goods from China in the near future.
Pakistan has great potential of exporting delicious fresh and dry fruits to Chinese markets which needs to have been included while negotiating the second phase of Free Trade Agreement. In citrus fruits such as Kino Chinese market could have been reached with quality improvement. Likewise, cherry, plum, apricot, pear, apples, and mangoes can also be exported to China. In dry fruits the competitive edge in walnut and apricot can fetch high value. Bulk of the fresh fruits could not be exported because sustained efforts are not being made by our embassies abroad to diversify export marks by way of economic diplomacy the broad contours of which had already been drawn in the envoys conference held in Islamabad in 2018.