Business Recorder | 4 April 2018
Pak-Thai FTA likely to be signed this year
by Parvez Jabri
Karachi:Pakistan and Thai governments are actively engaged in talks on free trade agreement (FTA) and with signing of the FTA, the bilateral trade will instantly boost as there is a huge potential on the both sides.
‘So far six successful meetings are held and signing of FTA is expected before end of this year,’ said Honorary Trade Advisor to government of Thailand and President Pak-Thailand Business Forum, Arif Suleman, while talking to a group of journalists here on Tuesday.
He said the bilateral trade was very low against the potential. However, it had risen over last year. Thai exports had increased to $ 1,47 billion from $ 900 million, and that of Pakistan from $ 100 million to $ 150 million.
He said, although the trade was in favour of Thailand yet Pakistan would benefit a lot after FTA. The main hurdle to the bilateral trade was high duties imposed by Thailand on imports by and exports from Pakistan.
He underlined the need for maximum value-addition by Pakistan and diversify its products range to meet Thai market demand. By better processing and packaging of fruit and sea-food, Pakistan could capture a big share of the market. Thailand was in better position because it had many quality items for export, he noted.
He said Thai Airlines was operating from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, and this would also be helpful in increasing the bilateral trade.
He said Thailand was also interested in tourism sector of Pakistan.
He said Pakistan had sought assistance from Thailand for setting up fruit processing plant.
Arif Suleman said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would have positive impact on the trade between the two countries.
He informed that three-day Thailand Single Country exhibition would he held here from first September 2018.