Pakistan got benefits more from free trade agreement (FTA) as its exports to Sri Lanka rose by 41 per cent to $216 million in 2009 while imports from the country fell by 5.7 per cent to $55.79 million, revealed a study.The main products that benefited from the FTA between the two countries between 2005 and 2009 included Basmati rice, potato and cement, reveals a study conducted by Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) titled ‘Evaluation of Trade Agreements: A case study of Pakistan Sri Lanka FTA’.
Basmati rice exports rose from just $4.6 million to $21.5 million” potato exports increased from $1.6 million to $15 million” cementoa product which Pakistan did not export to Sri Lanka in 2005órecording a figure of $11.7 million in 2009. The study further said that tubes and pipes saw their exports rise from $4.09 million to $9.9 million. Cumin seeds (zeera) saw exports rise from $1.1 million to $3.2 million. All of these products were able to benefit from the preferences granted under the free trade agreement between the two countries. Dried fish and ethyl alcohol were able to perform well without receiving preferential access under the agreement.Woven cotton fabrics’ exports to Sri Lanka rose from $17.2 million to $34.6 million, knitted fabrics’ exports from $1 million to $8.4 million and denim from $1.8 million to $8 million, said the study.The agreement came into effect in June 2005 with the objective of enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries. Five years after it took effect, there was a need to assess its impact on the bilateral trade flows.
Export of non-traditional products like pharmaceuticals also rose, taking advantage of zero tariff rates in Sri Lanka with $6.5 million worth of medicines being exported in 2009 as compared to zero exports in 2005.Export of Kinnow, onion and capsicum and certain fish products declined despite receiving significant preferences under the FTA, the study said.
The top performing Sri Lankan products in the Pakistani market included rubber whose imports into Pakistan increased from $6.3 million in 2005 to $10.8 million in 2009. Latex imports rose from $1.03 million to $3.87 million in the same period.
From / Gulf Today