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Pak-Thailand agree to discuss final FTA, offer list by Oct 15


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Thailand have agreed to present the complete offer list on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on October 15, aiming at signing the final agreement in this regard. 

Both side have agreed upon for dialogue on total tariff line and also willing to Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for harmonizing the standards and products, senior official of Ministry of Commerce told APP here Monday. 
Pakistan also wants concession on 100 products from Thailand granted to ASEAN countries, he said. 
The final decision on Pak-Thailand FTA would be made during the 9th round of talks between the two countries scheduled on November 14-15 in Thailand. 
Both sides had exchanged the final offer lists of items for free trade, including automobile and textile sectors for removing the reservations of the business communities. 
During the 9th round, he said, talks would also be held on the text of agreement, tariff reduction modalities, complete request lists from both side and offer lists. 
The official said Thailand had comparative advantage in around 1000 commodities, mainly electrical and electronic appliances, machinery and components and automobiles and parts. 
He added that similarly, Pakistan had relative advantages in some 684 commodities including cotton yarn and woven textiles, ready made garments, leather products, surgical instruments and sports goods. 
Talking about the FTA with China, the official said negotiations on second phase of the FTA with China would be held from September 13 to 14 in China headed by Secretary Commerce Younas Dhaga. 
He, however, added that Pakistan was desirous to have duty relaxation on 45 products before launching the phase-II. 
"We demanded unilateral relaxation on 45 different product for coming three years before signing Phase-II of FTA." the official said.