Round-table dialogue stresses enhanced ASEAN-Pakistan trade ties

Round-table dialogue stresses enhanced ASEAN-Pakistan trade ties

APP

ISLAMABAD: Senior diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and business leaders on Wednesday stressed the need to re-evaluate the economic and trade relations between ASEAN and Pakistan.
During the round-table dialogue in Islamabad, speakers said that direct air links between ASEAN countries and Pakistan in the near future, bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), trade dialogue and aggressive economic diplomacy, government-to-government cooperation, elevation from the sectoral to full dialogue partner could pave ways for new avenues for economic and trade cooperation. While addressing the session ASEAN Islamabad Committee and Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan Adam Chairman Tugio said that in order to strengthen economic and trade ties between ASEAN and Pakistan, the relationship between the government, the business community and the people needs to be re-established. He said that Pakistan also has a free trade agreement with China and the same FTA has been signed between ASEAN and China from which both countries can benefit.
The Ambassador said the two sides are pursuing integrated policies on trade and economic relations, which are expected to yield good results in the near future. On this occasion, Thai Ambassador Chakkrid Krachaiwong hinted at the signing of a free trade agreement between Pakistan and Thailand. On the occasion, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Tiean Phong, said that in order to achieve economic and trade potential in ASEAN countries and Pakistan, mutual talks and implementation of agreements are needed.



He said that Pakistan and ASEAN are two major markets between which cooperation could open new avenues for economic and trade cooperation. The Ambassador said that Vietnam, being an active member of ASEAN, would play its full role in paving the way for trade to Pakistan. He added that ASEAN is a very effective trading bloc of the world and has signed FTAs with China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand from which all the regional countries are benefiting.
On the occasion, Foreign Office Director General Amir Ahmad Datozi said that there were huge opportunities for Pakistan in the economies of ASEAN countries with a GDP of $3 trillion. He said the two sides were pursuing integrated policies on trade and economic relations, which are expected to yield good results in the near future. United Business Group (UBG) President Zubair Tufail said that the volume of bilateral trade between ASEAN and Pakistan is only $7 billion which is far below its potential. The ASEAN countries developed economically through the regional economic and trade alliance and the development of ASEAN countries Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand is unprecedented.