OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD

Pakistan has offered Belarus to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to facilitate trade between the two countries.

Belarusian side agreed to the proposal and the talks for the early conclusion of the PTA will start soon. PTA between the two countries was offered by Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan in his meeting with Belarusian Minister for Trade and Economy in Minsk, Belarus. The Commerce Minister was assisted by Dr. Miftah Ismail, Chairman, Board of Investment, Ms. Robina Athar, Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce and Masud Khan Raja, Ambassador of Pakistan to Belarus.

A meeting of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was also held in Minsk which was co-chaired by Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan and Belarusian Minister for Industry, Vitaly M. Vovk. The JEC agreed to enhance cooperation between the two countries on trade and investment, industrial cooperation, agriculture & pharmaceuticals, construction, scientific and technical cooperation, education and culture.

Belarus has a Customs Union –Eurasian Economic Union- with the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

Pakistan sees this union as one of the major trading partners in future and requests Belarusian side to support and put forward Pakistan’s case to Eurasian Economic Commission for concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan.

Trade Development Authority of Pakistan will hold a mango festival during the visit of Prime Minister with the theme of “Taste of Pakistani Mango” at Minsk. This event will be organised to showcase premier Pakistani mangoes and build a market of mangoes in Belarus. Pakistani exports to Belarus were $15.23 million in 2014. This has a great potential of increase as the total imports of Belarus in 2014 stood at $40 billion. Pakistan has potential of increasing its trade in textiles, foodstuffs, chemicals, and mineral products etc. The overall balance of trade is in favour of Belarus due to large import of tractors, petroleum, machinery & auto parts, vegetables and synthetic fiber.

Pakistan’s major items of export to Belarus are textiles, articles of apparel fruits and vegetables and pharmaceuticals.