Third Meeting of the TNC for Pakistan-Iran Free Trade Agreement

Pakistan has signed a Preferential Trade Agreement with Iran which became operational from 1st September 2006.Under the Agreement, Pakistan offered concessions to Iran on 338 tariff lines, whereas Iran gave concessions on 309 tariff lines. However, the PTA remained dysfunctional most of the time. As a result of signing of MOU on Five Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan between the two countries in March 2016, Pakistan and Iran started negotiating a Free Trade Agreement, in December 2016 with the resolve to timely complete the negotiation process and achieve the objective of enhancing bilateral trade for the betterment of people of both brotherly countries removing all barriers to bilateral trade.

The Third Meeting of the Trade Negotiation Committee (TNC) on Pakistan-Iran Free Trade Area Agreement (PIFTA) was held on 21-22November 2017 in Tehran. The Iranian delegation was headed by Mr. Mirhadi Seyedi, Deputy of Export Market Development, Iran Trade Promotion Organization and the Pakistan’s delegation was headed by Mr. Bilal Khan Pasha, Joint Secretary (FT-II), Ministry of Commerce.

The first meetings of Sub Committees on Sanitary-Phytosanitary Measures , Technical Barriers to Trade and Customs Cooperation were held simultaneously along with the TNC negotiations in which experts discussed and negotiated on the texts as already proposed by Pakistan and finalized those at the expert level. The authorized bodies of each Party technically approved the text and referred those to their respective Ministries/Bodies for final clearance.

During the Meeting, the TNC discussed and negotiated on the Draft of text for FTA in Goods and finalized it at expert level. It was decided to carry out further deliberations in order to complete all Annexes of the FTA Agreement by June 2018 which would complete the technical process of final FTA for consequential approval by the respective Governments.

The two sides agreed to exchange the final wish-lists of tariff concession on each other’s products by 31stJanuary 2018 with the objective to finalize those by incorporating them in Pak-Iran PTA by March 2018.The TNC agreed to arrange the 4th Meeting in January 2018 in Islamabad, Pakistan to expedite the remaining issues in enhancement of Pakistan Iran bilateral trade.