Press Release: Trade deals shouldn’t be finalized in haste

Lessons should be learned from futile agreements

FTAs and PTAs should be approved by the Parliament




Sept 24

The government shouldn’t finalize trade deals with friendly countries in haste before learning lessons from Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed earlier which damaged the economy, a business leader said Sunday.

Our negotiators have failed to hold meaningful negotiations and safeguard national interests before finalizing such trade deals which have proved counterproductive, he said.

Atif Ikram Sheikh, former president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said in a statement that the trade deals increased imports by 300 percent, hundreds of industries were closed, the government lost revenue, and banks lost money due to defaults while many jobs were destroyed.

He said that trade talks with Turkey, Thailand, and Korea should be suspended unless private sector is taken on board and their reservations are considered otherwise masses will pay for the abilities of the trade officials, he demanded.

Atif Ikram Sheikh who is also group leader of Haripur Chamber of Commerce said that Pakistani products are not only uncompetitive in the international market but also in the local market.

Our markets are flooded with general items smuggled or imported from other countries which are cheaper and usually of better quality which proves that local industry is not competitive at home, he added.

He said that trade deals should not be left to some officials or a ministry and it should be debated thoroughly in the National Assembly before approval.

China is a friendly country but she is getting undue advantage from the FTA signed in 2006 resulting in heavy losses to our economy, therefore, she should cooperate to make the deal balanced, he said.

He said that trade officials should not compromise national interests at any cost and realize that we cannot afford faulty deals.

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Posted on Sep 25, 17 | 12:47 am