ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Commerce has started a thorough review of all the trade pacts through which Pakistan conducts bilateral trade on preferable terms with other countries.

The review will be conducted through consultations with stakeholders and the analysis of available trade data.

This will help provide clear guidelines to the policymakers based on which the country will negotiate further trade agreements.

The decision was taken by the Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan after chairing a high-level meeting in the Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday.

Pakistan is a signatory to Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA) with Iran, Indonesia and Mauritius.

These agreements were signed in the previous decade, thus providing a sufficient time frame to assess the efficacy of these agreements.

Now Pakistan is in the process of negotiating FTAs with Thailand, Turkey, South Korea and Iran, which will broaden the trading opportunities for Pakistani businessmen.

The meeting noted that Pakistan’s trading partners negotiated bilateral and multilateral trade pacts with other countries, thus securing greater market access.

It also observed that the demand for enhanced market access should arise from the domestic industry.

The minister said that trade agreements compelled the local industries to modernise and diversify in order to compete in the international market besides providing better choice of products to the local people.

“Pakistani industries should also expand and remodel themselves according to the international standards,” he added.