Pakistan may shifts its trade policy towards ASEAN


—File Photo

LAHORE: The Businessmen Panel (BMP) of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry seeks significant trade and investment potential to member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Chairman BMP, Mian Anjum Nisar said the volume of trade between Pakistan and Asean can increase by $4-5 billion in a few years if we revisited our policy.

He said that Pakistan should take maximum advantage of a rapidly globalising economy, added that they should try to excel in particular segments within the international supply chains.

“Japan is one of the top consumers of iron ore, although it doesn’t produce any of it. Pakistan may be one of the top producers of cotton, but Bangladesh leads in the garment manufacturing,” he said while emphasising the need for regional cooperation to gain competitive advantage.

Nisar further said regional agreements are used for not only promoting trade and investment, but also strengthening domestic policy reforms. “He said Pakistan is important for Asean as much as Asean is important for Pakistan when it comes to economic cooperation”

Spokesperson of BMP, “Ahmad Jawad, said integration within ASEAN will be a key boost to the region’s economic growth in the medium term for us”. We are already seeing a striking increase in intra-regional trade both within ASEAN and among emerging Asia’s economies more broadly

Jawad said with a population of more than 600 million and a nominal GDP of $2.31 trillion, ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), made up of Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, is fast becoming a major economic force in Asia and a driver of global growth.

As the economies of neighboring China and India decelerate, and as the U.S. shifts its focus to the East, the region is increasingly becoming a destination for investment, so this means Pakistan should revisit its trade policy and start close ties with this emerging block in order to boosting its economic growth interims doing to exports relations with them.

Similarly Commerce Ministry should expedite the FTA agreement with Thailand and further give due willingness towards Singapore for the Free Trade Agreement which may enhance country Horticulture and textile exports, he added.—PPI