Pakistan objects over Turkey's trade regime

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has raised objections over Turkey's trade regime which according to Islamabad is embedded with non-tariff barriers (NTBs), which restrict smooth flow of tradable commodities between the two countries, officials said yesterday.

By A Correspondent

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Published: Sun 16 Dec 2007, 9:01 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:40 PM

The issue was officially raised at the regular trade policy review of Turkey at the Geneva Based World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently. Pakistan's Permanent Representative to WTO Dr Manzoor Ahmad presented Pakistan's position at the meeting.

Pakistan had also submitted written questions with Geneva based Turkish mission for seeking details about the NTBs on Pakistan's specific exportable products.

Though, the MFN applied tariffs were reduced from 15 per cent to 4.2 per cent in Turkey and there was extensive privatisation in almost all sectors but due to these NTBs countries like Pakistan could not gain maximum market access for its potential markets.The envoy in the country's statement said that the reform process has made Turkey as one of the fastest growing economy with GDP growth of almost 7 per cent on average, doubling of exports in four years, increase of FDI by ten folds and bringing inflation down to a manageable single-digit level.

However, Dr Manzor said that this trade could grow further if some non-tariff barriers like reference pricing, especially on Pakistan's rice and textile products export could be removed by Ankara. An official in the commerce ministry said Pakistan was also a third party of the US case of dispute settlement body (DSB) of WTO, which recently in the decision asked Ankara to remove burdensome procedures and implicit barrier to market access for rice.

Pakistan's envoy in the country statement said that the Turkey reform process was based on three pillars-enhancing openness, competitiveness and fiscal discipline. Other significant reforms include extensive privatisation in almost all sectors including banks, telecom, energy, ports, tax reforms, social security reforms and effective implementation of IP regime.

Dr Manzoor said Pakistan and Turkey have a history of strong relationship. Our common participation in ECO Trade Agreement, OIC Trade Preferential System and D-8 PTA brings us even closer. On bilateral front, trade volume has nearly tripled during the past four years, rising from $175 million in 2002 to $506 million in 2006.

Trade on both sides is primarily based on manufactured goods, including textile, clothing and chemicals. Government-to government coordination, business-to-business understanding and people-to-people cooperation are the hallmarks of our relationship, he added.

The envoy said to translate our mutual respect into mutual economic gains, both countries signed a framework agreement in 2004; and were in the process of negotiating a scheme of exchanging preferential concessions.

We share Turkey's high expectations from this Round and their assessment of the current state of play in the negotiations. We are also grateful to Turkish ambassador for organising a number of social events in Geneva, the envoy added.

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