National Workshop on potential CAREC-wide Free Trade Agreement was organized by Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary EAD and Mr. Young Ye, Country Director, Asian Development Bank in Islamabad on 20th March, 2023.

Government of Pakistan
Ministry of Economic Affairs
(Economic Affairs Division)
Islamabad: 20th March, 2023
Press Release

National Workshop on Potential CAREC wide Free Trade Agreement.

A National Workshop on CAREC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was conducted by the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Secretariat of Asian Development Bank in collaboration with Economic Affairs Division and Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan in Islamabad today.

The main objective of the workshop was to create national consensus in CAREC developing member countries (DMC), the governments of which have expressed the strongest interest to prepare and pursue negotiations towards an eventual CAREC-wide FTA.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary, EAD and Mr. Yong Ye, Country Director, Asian Development Bank. Secretary EAD highlighted that this workshop would enable to understand the subject at a deeper level including the awareness among a broad range of interested stakeholders, leading to developing a consensus among the strangest interest to prepare and pursue negotiations towards an eventual CAREC wide FTA.

The Workshop aims to raise awareness among a broad range of interested stakeholders for the CAREC FTA and potential benefits for the whole CAREC region.

The workshop initiated a broad-based and inclusive public discussion on the topic and target a wide range of stakeholders.

Pakistan’s new trade policy is focused on addressing investment gaps in key economic sectors to create an export surplus, improved market access, rationalization of tariffs besides suggesting measures to raise export of services to improve export competitiveness and diversify markets and products.

The second part of the workshop was related to the training of the mid-level government officers, and its objective was to raise awareness among policy makers on the potential benefits of the CAREC wide FTA. The Training Activity enhanced the capacity building of the trade officers by providing a brief overview of both the substantive and procedural/organizational/strategic aspects of preparing for and successfully completing trade negotiations.