2/11/04 KARACHI: Malaysia and Pakistan have are agreed in principle toestablish a preferential tariff arrangement during two-day meeting of thejoint ministerial commission meeting at Kuala Lumpur, said a press releaseissued by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) on Monday.
It said Malaysia and Pakistan are also involved in the PTA arrangement ofD-8, which is in the initial stage of drafting of the text agreement. Itwas also recorded that Pakistan has also been identified as bilateralcandidate for free trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia.
The statement said the meeting discussed issues to develop proposals toredress the huge imbalance in trade in Malaysian’s favour due to heavyimports of palm oil by Pakistan over so many years.
The meeting discussed that range of products traded between the twocountries remained narrow and emphasized the need to diversify and expandthe range of products to be traded. It was informed that currentlyMalaysia’s import from Pakistan are limited to textile, rice, leather,sports goods, carpet and rugs. The meeting was told that the economy andexports of the both countries is not supplementary but complimentary, asMalaysian manufacturers and exports mostly electronic equipment andmachinery, petrochemicals, palm oil, rubber etc while the Pakistan isstrong in textiles, rice and the consumer items. Abid Javed Akbar, vicechairman EPB, said that Pakistani companies would be participating in theforthcoming international trade fairs in Malaysia dealing with specializeditems of the country’s interest. The Malaysian side responded byindicating its interest in particular to import leather products, carpetsand dairy products.
Mr Akbar also offered Malaysia to import meat products either in chilledor processed form. The Malaysian was invited to visit Pakistan to inspectand approve abattoirs in Pakistan in the near future and initiate theprocess of signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistaniministry of food and agriculture for importing meat and meat products. TheMalaysian side conveyed its interest to invest in halal food processingindustries of Pakistan to ensure regular supply for Malaysian market.
Malaysian government has agreed that Pakistan could possibly use Malaysiaas gateway to other Asean market. Mr Akbar said that a delegation fromPakistan should visit Malaysia very shortly to discuss and develop thisconcept and framework for PTA/FTA.
During the discussion it was indicated that trade in Pakistan isliberalized and it adheres strictly to the market economy in policyplanning. —Staff report