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Pakistan, Turkey looking at signing FTA

Pakistan and Turkey are working toward a free trade agreement. Currently, Turkey levies heavy duties on Pakistani textile products. The introduction of FTA would help Pakistan earn foreign exchange from the export of textiles as well as other products such as fruits and vegetables. It will also facilitate the provision of comparatively cheaper products to Turkish consumers. Pakistan views the free trade agreement with Turkey as the key to revive the textile economy.

The FTA between the two countries is expected to be signed before the end of 2016. Turkey mainly exports telecommunication equipment, televisions, textiles and machinery while imports from Pakistan include textile yarn, cotton fabrics, plastics and organic chemicals.

The two countries already have very close cooperation in diverse fields including defense and fighting war against terrorism and extremism. It’s hoped the FTA would spur joint ventures, besides increasing trade, as it would help lower the current high customs duties between the two sides.

Negotiations are being held in fields such as trade in goods, trade in services, intellectual property rights, competition policies and dispute settlement mechanisms. The two countries are embarking on new trade liberalisation initiatives.