ISLAMABAD - The preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Indonesia will be implemented during the current month, said Commercial Secretary of the Indonesian Embassy in Pakistan, Otto R Gani said here Thursday.

“Jakarta and Islamabad have completed the spadework following the successful meetings between the top officials of two countries during the D-8 Summit held recently in Islamabad,” Gani said while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI).

He said that implementation of Pakistan-Indonesia PTA would begin new era of cooperation and serve as a foundation for enhanced economic and trade cooperation. The Pakistani businesses will increase exports to Southeast Asia’s largest economy under the PTA, including textile exports, he added.

“After the implementation of PTA, we will take further steps to broader economic integration by initiating negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA),” he added.

He assured the IWCCI delegation that the Indonesian Embassy as well as business community would participate in Islamabad Expo 2013 scheduled in March, which would offer an opportunity to develop linkages among the business people of the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, founder president IWCCI Samina Fazil and President IWCCI of the chamber Farida Rashid said that an operational PTA would provide a level playing field to the major palm oil exporters and it could help reduce prices of edible oil in Pakistan. Before 2007 Indonesian palm oil share in Pakistani market was 55 per cent which can rebound now, they added.

Similarly, Pakistan’s export to Indonesia including value-added textiles, carpets, fabrics, leather and export goods, chemicals, surgical and fruits will get a boost.

The IWCCI leaders demanded the government to take initiatives, including single country expos, exchange of delegations and cultural events to bring the business communities of the two countries closer.