Mr. Badar U Zaman, the Commercial Counselor of Pakistani Embassy in China, makes keynote speech during the investment promotion event of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Entrepreneurs Forum on April 24. (Photo by Meng Lingjuan/ Economic Daily-China Economic Net)
BEIJING, April 25 (China Economic Net) -- During the investment promotion event of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Entrepreneurs Forum on April 24, Mr. Badar U Zaman, the Commercial Counselor of Pakistani Embassy in China, confirmed to the reporter that after the signing of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), China will soon grant zero-tariff treatment to a total of 3,761 items from Pakistan.
During the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Pakistan is scheduled to hold two economic and trade activities in Beijing on April 24 and 28 respectively. Some 50 Pakistani companies and nearly 100 Chinese companies participated in the event which was co-sponsored by Pakistan National Defense University and Obortunity Consulting.
Before Zaman's keynote speech, the reporter used her preliminary calculation figures and inquired Zaman about the total number of duty free items after the signing of China-Pakistan FTA on April 28. According to the Agreement on the Early Harvest Programme for the FTA between China and Pakistan in 2005, China granted 644 zero-tariff items for the Pakistan side besides 123 common items duty free. After the signing of the FTA in 2006, China granted zero-tariff treatment to another 2,681 items. 313 tariff-free items can be determined after the two sides signed the second phase of the FTA later this month. Then the total number of duty-free items will hit 3,761.
"Your calculation is correct, but the specific list will be released after the signing," Zaman said. "After the second phase of FTA, the trade liberalization rate between China and Pakistan will reach 92-93 percent. The rate of trade liberalization between China and ASEAN has reached 90 percent, and the practice of ASEAN's exports to China have been relatively successful, while the previous liberalization rate between China and Pakistan was about 60 percent."
As the only keynote speaker of the Pakistani side, Zaman said that Pakistan is a large agricultural country, where agricultural products are mostly exported to the Middle East countries. Passing through the inspection and quarantine is one of the key issues for the exports of Pakistan's agricultural products to China. "China has many world-famous e-commerce platforms, such as Taobao and Tmall. I have browsed it myself and found out that the quantity and sorts of Pakistani goods are scarce on those platforms. This is the real situation of China-Pakistan trade."
Zaman said that he really hopes that Chinese companies will come to invest and build factories in Pakistan, thus realizing the relocation of some industries. "China is now facing high tariff risks and high wages. Building factories in Pakistan is an effective way to solve these two problems," Zaman said. "I have worked in China for one and a half years and organized more than 2,000 business meetings between China and Pakistan. Frankly speaking, people talked more and reached less agreement."
"Chinese people value social relations and friendships. Without these, it will be difficult to do business in the country," Zaman urged.
During the second International Textile Exhibition in Pakistan, the reporter interviewed Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to Pakistani prime minister on commerce, textile, industry and production, and investment. Touching on the new zero-tariff list, Dawood disclosed that it will cover the main commodities of Pakistan, such as all furs, lightings, cherries and others. Dawood also informed the reporter that the second phase of China-Pakistan FTA is scheduled to be signed in Beijing on April 28. It is reported that the China-Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum will also be held the same day.
The article is translated by Liao Yifan.