ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Malaysia are negotiating to further reduce duties on existing and additional tariff lines under Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to facilitate businesses of both countries.

According to official sources, both the countries inked the comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for Closer Economic Partnership back in 2007.

This Agreement was Pakistan’s first comprehensive FTA incorporating trade in goods, trade in services, investment and Economic co-operation and Malaysia’s first bilateral FTA with any south Asian country.

According to the agreement, for trade in goods Pakistan was supposed to eliminate tariff on 43.2 per cent of the current imports from Malaysia by 2012, while Malaysia had to eliminate tariff on 78 per cent of imports from Pakistan.

Sources said that both the countries recently organised a business seminar in Malaysia wherein ways for promoting trade and investment between the two counties were discussed thoroughly.

The FTA between both the countries provided numerous opportunities for the companies to promote trade and investment.

Current trading basket by both countries is limited to Palm oil, fibre board, rubber electrical and electronic equipment from Malaysia.

While from Pakistan main items being exported are rice, maize, cotton, textile, vegetables. Diversification of products was the key to boost trade between the two countries.

The source said that Malaysian businessmen also consider Pakistan as an advantageous country for doing business and both the countries have Malaysia Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (MDCEPA) since 2007 which became operation in 2008.

There are many consumer products under zero tariff regimes between the two countries, the sources added.