Published On: Mon, Jan 20th, 2014
Published in Category: Karachi

Pak-Malaysia FTA to be reviewed next month: Malaysian envoy

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KARACHI: Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Hasrul Sani Mujtabar said Pakistan and Malaysia will review the current Free Trade Agreement (FTA) next month to boost the bilateral trade volume.

According to media reports, he said this review would not only help Pakistan but also Malaysia to secure much better market access in certain areas by addressing tariffs and non-tariff measures while strengthening technical cooperation in specific industries.

“I think it is very timely because Pakistan and Malaysia are looking to secure more markets for their respective export products and deepen the investment relationship,” he said.

The free trade agreement between Pakistan and Malaysia was signed in Kuala Lumpur in November 2007 the first bilateral agreement between two member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Malaysia in 2012 was valued at RM6.5 billion. Commodity products imported by Pakistan include products based on palm oil valued at RM4 billion, rubber (RM76.9 million), cocoa (RM33.8 million) and pepper (RM2.42 million).

Pakistan is the fifth largest importer of Malaysian palm oil and palm oil products. Pakistan’s major exports to Malaysia include fish, potatoes, onion, rice, maize, cotton yarn, woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibre, bed linen, electrical apparatus for line telephones and parts and accessories.

Dr Hasrul Sani has proposed to the Ministry of Plantations Industries and Commodities for the Malaysian Palm Oil Board to have a presence in Islamabad, the administrative centre of Pakistan, in order to communicate effectively with relevant agencies on palm oil trade and technical cooperation.

“I hope economic ties between Pakistan and Malaysia will continue to prosper in the coming years for the benefit of Pakistanis and Malaysians,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ambassador said his office in Islamabad would work closely with Tourism Malaysia to organise promotional campaigns for ‘Visit Malaysia Year 2014’ by bringing in cultural groups to major cities including Lahore and Rawalpindi.

Tourism Malaysia should be more proactive to promote tourism here amid increasing interest from Pakistanis, he said, adding that more than 70,000 Pakistanis visited Malaysia last year.