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Regional trade agreements could be successful if bilateral agreements between member countries complement them

Karachi, March 19, 2013 (PPI-OT): “Regional trade agreements (RTAs) could be successful if bilateral agreements between the member countries complement them.” This was stated by Mr. Tariq Sayeed, Vice President of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) while chairing session “The Impact of Bilateral Agreements on Regional Trade and Investments” during 27th CACCI Conference, recently concluded at Cebu, Philippines.

Tariq Sayeed also the former President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and FPCCI particularly referred South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and Economic Cooperation Organisation Trade Agreement (ECOTA) and pointed out that the low level of intra-regional trade in these blocs was only 5% and 8% respectively, which was due mainly to the fact that RTAs were not being implemented in letter and spirit. He further added that the present level of trade in these regions was based on bilateral mechanism instead of regional protocols.

“The bilateral are more successful because they are easy to negotiate and implement, however, if signed under the regional framework, they can help foster regional trade” said Tariq Sayeed and added that in 2009, 25 new regional trade agreements (RTAs) were notified, bringing the total number of sub-regional, trilateral and multilateral RTAs into force to nearly 300 across the globe.

He pointed out that intra-CACCI Trade was witnessing steady growth and hoped that member countries can play a vital role to increase the size of trade through promoting intra-CACCI investment, which could have multiplier effect of trade.

Different sessions discussing on the euro debt crisis and its implications for Asian business, sustainable energy resources and food security, the role of women and youth in economic development and trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines were also held. More than 500 delegates from 27 countries in Asia Pacific are expected to join the two-day conference.

Pakistan delegation was led by Tariq Sayeed and comprised of Mian Muhammad Adrees, Mr. Zakaria Usman, Mr. Mohammad Amin Khatri, Mr. Hameed Akhtar Chadda, Mr. Mohammad Irshad Swati, Mr. Zubair Fareed Tufail, Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, Mr. Aamer Ata Bajwa.

For more information, contact:
Syed Masood Alam Rizvi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

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