|Pakistan's First Independent Complete Daily E-Newspaper|
|ISSN 1729-7915||Editor: Mumtaz Hamid Raofirstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Zil-Hajj 09, 1432 AH
| ||Pakistan gets positive response from Oman on FTA with GCC
'Pakistan Times' Business & Commerce Desk
MUSCAT (Oman): Pakistan on Tuesday got a positive response from Oman for its bid to enter a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, hoping to make a strong presence in the coveted market of 38.6 million.Pakistan is yet to receive consent from the GCC members for entering into a FTA.
The second session was held in September 2008. Pakistan is seeking an early convening of the third session of the negotiations and has provided the GCC Secretariat with the relevant agreement text and data.Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani who is here on a two-day visit to the Sultanate of Oman sought support of its leaders for Pakistanís desire to enter the large GCC market.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says that Pakistan was also looking into the possibility of benefiting from the Oman-US FTA and could process some of its products in Oman. The FTA process, launched in Feb 2006, would provide an opportunity to Pakistani exporters to tap the demand for goods in the GCC countries under the reduced tariff in the first phase and without tariff in the long term.
Pakistan has already signed FTAs with Sri Lanka, China and Malaysia, besides South Asia Free Trade Agreement. Currently Pakistan imports raw materials, semi-finished goods and oil from the GCC countries and the FTA will reduce the cost of these imports.According to the Foreign Minister Prime Minister Gilaniís visit would facilitate Pakistani investors set up industrial units in Oman that could be re-exported to the US and other Gulf countries.
The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Oman has more than doubled in the last three years to around US 250 million dollars. Pakistan has been exporting its traditional items including garments, textiles, footwear, fruits, surgical and sports goods to Oman.The bilateral trade between the two countries was around 286 million dollars in 2009-10 and has risen from US 8 million dollars in 2004-05 to US 331 million dollars in 2008-09.