Pakistan-China volume of trade which was $4 billion in 2006-07 reached $13.77 billion in 2015-16 while Pakistan's exports have jumped to $1.69 billion from $575 million in the same period. Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Najeebuddin Awaisi informed this to National Assembly on Monday during the question hour. He said that China's exports to Pakistan have increased to $12.1 billion in 2015-16 from $3.5 billion in 2006-07, adding that his ministry has initiated numerous steps for balance of trade with China.
Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan informed the House through a written reply that the import of goods for projects related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) amount to Rs 97.9 billion, which is 3.8 percent of total imports of Pakistan (Rs 2565.5 billions) in the last six months of the current financial year.
He said that total imports under CPEC projects do not constitute a major portion of Pakistan's total imports and thus will not have a significant impact on the balance of payments of the country. The import of goods falling under the umbrella of CPEC related projects may not be termed as commercial imports, rather they fall in the category of investment, he said.
The minister said that the investment in any from contributes to the economic development of the country. To another question, the parliamentary secretary for commerce informed the House that during the last four years, 2.24 million metric tons of urea, worth $876 million, has been imported and no urea was exported from the country during the last four years.
He said that new factories of urea are being set up to meet the increasing demand of the fertilizer in the country. There is no restriction on import of rice from Pakistan by the United Arab Emirates and Iran, he said, adding the Iranian government imposes a seasonal ban on the import of rice every year from July to December in order to protect its domestic growers but this year due to unknown reasons, the ban was lifted last month.
The parliamentary secretary said that Pakistan has not signed any trade agreement with the United Kingdom during the last three years. He said owing to the GSP Plus arrangement between Pakistan and European Union, Pakistani exports enjoy duty free access in all member states of the EU including the UK.
He informed the House that Trade Development Authority of Pakistan will participate in Comex Oman Exhibition of IT products in May this year in Oman. He said that a memorandum of understanding between Omani Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development of the Sultanate of Oman and TDAP is under process. He said that Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry has agreed to sign an MoU for the establishment of a joint business council.
Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada informed the House that test ranking of Pakistan Cricket team is 6th in the world, while its ranking is 8th and 6th in the One-Day International and T-20 respectively. Responding to a question, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the House that there are 126 diplomatic missions of Pakistan abroad consisting of embassies and consulates. He said the allocated budget for the embassies and consulates last year was Rs 11.67 billion while the expenditure of last year was Rs 11.72 billion.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017