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US says Pakistan 'too small an economy' to have free trade accord with

Islamabad, Fri, 27 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 27 (ANI): The United States has said that a free trade accord is too big for Pakistan as there is no match between the economies of the two countries, a top official of the commerce ministry in Islamabad has said.


Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood said the US instead asked Pakistan to seek unilateral trade concessions as the free trade agreement required both countries to provide relaxations and Islamabad could not offer much to Washington.


"Big countries do not strike FTAs with small countries," The Express Tribune quoted Mahmood, as telling the NA standing committee on commerce, headed by Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan of the PML-N.


He was responding to Kashmala Tariq's question on whether Pakistan had linked opening of NATO supplies with signing of the FTA.


The US offered to establish Reconstruction Opportunity Zones in militancy-hit tribal areas, close to the border with Afghanistan, as a unilateral concession, but the Congress has yet to ratify it despite a lapse of over six years.


"No country in the world has done what Pakistan did for the US in the fight against terror, but the government has failed to trade off sacrifices with trade concessions despite raising the slogan of 'trade not aid'," Kashmala Tariq of the PML Likeminded Group said. (ANI)


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