(Pakistan Point News - APP - 17th Jan, 2017) Dastgir Khan on Tuesday said that Export Development Funds (EDF) funds should be used for image building and country's products marketing at international level. The government to establish an expo center atn Peshawar with an estimated cost of Rs 2.5 billion in coming two months to facilitate the business community in order to enhance exports of their products, Said Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir,while speaking at the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce here .
The Committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Shibli Faraz in Parliament House on Tuesday. The Minister informed the committee that aftersetting up expo center at Peshawar would help enhance the trade with Central Asian States and Afghanistan. He said that the Ministry would launch International Campaign by involving the exporters and Pakistan's Diaspora in developed countries for enhancing the country's image besides boosting country's exports for economic growth.
A Senior official of Ministry of Commerce, briefed the committee on budgetary allocation and its utilization for ministry and relevant department in (FY 2016-17) and regarding negociations on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with different countries. He informed the committee total budget allocation for the Ministry of Commerce was Rs. 6.267 billions including Rs.1,173.2 million for Export Development Fund (EDF) and also Rs.1,067.5 million for Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.
While briefing on FTAs with different countries,he said that FTAs with Turkey and Thailand are likely to be signed within three months. He said that high level delegation from Thailand had arrived on January 17,Tuesday to negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Pakistan, which would be signed within two months. " A delegations from Turkey is also coming for negotiations regarding signing of an FTA with Pakistan and to speed up the process and negotiate commodity lists and tariff rates," he said.
Talking about the FTA with China, the official said, that Phase-II of the FTA with China was also due. He said FTA between the two countries was signed back in 2007. "We have demanded unilateral relaxation on 50 different products for coming few years before signing Phase-II of FTA." He added that Pakistan would sign FTAs with other countries keeping in view of its own national interest. He said that China has been giving us good offers to enter in FTA phase-II and both sides also agree on the demand list. "We are in consultation with exporters, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders to involve them with policy dialogues and getting their inputs in Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with these countries, he said.