The Proposed Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement: Pakistan must not let emotions dictate this FTA!

A well thought-out and a well-negotiated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Turkey can potentially increase bilateral trade in the near term to $5,000 million from the current level of $584 million. Pakistan’s top 20 high-potential exports can go up from $391 million to $2,400 million while Turkey’s top 20 high-potential exports to Pakistan can rise from $193 million to $2,500 million. However, it appears that elimination in tariffs alone may not help achieve this objective. From the perspective of Pakistan’s exports, some of the highest-potential exports products to Turkey already have face low tariffs (0-5%), showing $1,331.8 million in potential exports. Pakistan’s negotiating team needs to ensure that the concerns regarding Turkey’s non-tariff barriers and especially the liberal use of anti-dumping laws by Turkey are addressed in the FTA. Failure to once again negotiate without keeping the interests of Pakistan’s manufacturing sector can potentially lead to another FTA which opens Pakistan’s domestic markets to Turkish imports without a corresponding increase in exports to Turkey.