Indonesia, Pakistan Commerce Ministers to sign Preferential Trade Agreement next week

JAKARTA: Indonesian Trade Minister and Pakistan’s Commerce Minister are scheduled next week to sign Preferential Trade Agreement PTA that will pave way for closer economic relations between the two countries, Jakarta Post reported on Monday.

Trade Ministry’s international trade cooperation director general, Gusmardi Bustami said PTA would be signed on January 19 or 20 in Jakarta. The long and hard-bargained agreement was earlier signed on September 16 last year in Jakarta by former deputy trade minister Mahendra Siregar and Pakistan’s Commerce secretary Zafar Mahmood, but it still requires signature of the two country’s Ministers.

“After the signing, we will hand over documents to the State Secretariat for ratification,” he said, adding that ratification would likely be completed in April. Gusmardi expected that the trade deal, which will take force after ratification, would boost Indonesia’s export of palm oil, other products, including electronics, to Pakistan. Under the PTA, Indonesian principal export commodity – palm oil – for example, will enjoy the same level of import duty as Malaysian palm oil, while Pakistan kino orange will pay zero percent duty, which will enable it to compete better with similar products, mainly Mandarin tangerines.

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