The Express Tribune in Pakistan reported that Indonesia recently issued a notice to amend the Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), that is, to immediately provide market access for Pakistan's most interested 20 new products. The main products involved are mango, rice, alcohol, tobacco, yarn and fabrics, home textile, towel cloth, clothing and knitted goods.
During the visit of the Indonesian President in January 2018, the two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding to amend PTA, the report said. Since then, the Indonesian Minister of Trade and the permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan met during the 2018 Shanghai Import Expo to discuss non-tariff barriers imposed by Indonesia on Pakistani agricultural products. Pakistan's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Monday that“with the continued efforts of the Ministry of Commerce, Indonesia has finally provided unilateral market access to Pakistani products”. The report said the India-Pakistan preferential trade agreement was signed in 2012, but failed to help Pakistan to increase exports to the Indonesian market.
After the agreement came into effect, Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia fell from US$236 million in 2011/12 to US$141 million in 2016/17. Indonesia's bilateral trade with Pakistan reached US $1.6 billion in 2012 and in 2017 / 18, reached US $2.8 billion. In response to this phenomenon, Indonesia held three review meetings, expressing concern about the adverse effects of preferential trade agreements on the export of Pakistan, and agreeing to unilaterally grant zero tariff status to 20 products that are in line with Pakistan's export interests. Indonesia’s official notification on the increase in the tariff preference has been issued and has entered into force on 1 March 2019. Pakistan also received a special permit from Indonesia for the next season of mango exports, the Ministry of Commerce said.
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