Pakistan to sign PTA with Indonesia

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Pakistan and Indonesia have completed their internal formalities for signing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) which is expected to be signed during the upcoming visit of Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim to Jakarta. Indonesia is one of Pakistan’s biggest markets for kinnow but the country’s share was eliminated due to tariff preference available to other competitor under ASEAN-China FTA. Through PTA Pakistan has been to able to achieve a level playing field with its competitors in Indonesian market. In 2006, Indonesia imported kinnow worth $200 million but the share of Pakistan was almost negligible due to tariff barriers.
An official statement said, Ministry of Commerce discussed various matters of Kinnow export to Iran and Indonesia with different stockholders including All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association, Citrus Growers, Ministry of Food, Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board during a meeting.
Recently a complaint was received from the Citrus Growers Association regarding problems being faced by Pakistani exporters of kinnow. The ministry was informed that Iran has banned the import of citrus from Pakistan. The ministry raised the issue of the association with the relevant authorities in Tehran. Pakistan Ambassador in Tehran was also requested to take up the issue with the Iranian government. While responding the issue, Pakistan’s Ambassador has informed that Iran has not banned the import of kinnow from Pakistan.
It was also highlighted in the meeting that kinnow is one of important horticulture export products of Pakistan. In the year 2010-11 Pakistan exported approximately $110 million to various countries including Iran, which was one of our largest markets accounting for 10 per cent of Pakistan’s total export.
The meeting was informed Ministry of Commerce led the Pakistan negotiating team for PTA with Indonesia, where Indonesia has already agreed to eliminate tariff on import of kinnow from Pakistan. The meeting was informed that Pakistan and Indonesia have completed their internal formalities for signing the PTA.
The commerce minister of Pakistan is scheduled to travel to Jakarta on the invitation of his Indonesian counterpart to sign the agreement. After the signing ceremony both countries will implement the tariff reduction commitments soon.