The Chinese government has reaffirmed its commitment to work with Pakistan for the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Addressing a press conference, China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “China stands ready to work with Pakistan to consolidate political mutual trust, strengthen all-around cooperation including trade and investment, pursue high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and deliver more benefits to both countries and peoples."
The spokesperson also briefed about the Amending Protocol to the Free Trade Agreement between China and Pakistan, which entered into force on December 1, 2019.
“The Protocol upgraded and revised the contents of the original free trade agreement on market access for trade in goods and tariff reduction schedules, rules of origin, trade remedies and investment. And it added a new chapter on customs cooperation.
“Among them, the core content is to substantially increase the level of liberalization of trade in goods based on the original free trade agreement. The Protocol stipulates that the proportion of tariff lines with zero-tariff products will gradually increase from 35 percent to 75pc. In addition, we will also have a 20pc reduction in tariffs on other products that account for 5pc of their respective tariff lines. The tariff reduction measures came into effect on January 1, 2020," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
Under the second phase of CPFTA, Pakistani manufacturers and traders are allowed to export around 313 new products on zero duty to the Chinese market.
Pakistan was already enjoying zero duty on export of 724 products to China under the first FTA signed between the two countries in 2006, and after the implementation of the second phase of FTA, the number of export goods from Pakistan has been raised to 1047 products to China on zero duty.