CPFTA-II under review to enhance Pakistan’s export footprints in China

The China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) Phase II, set to conclude this year in 2024, has now moved into the review stage, in a bid to make the trade arrangement more continuous, with amendments designed to make it more conducive and favorable for Pakistan.

The goal is to help broaden Pakistan’s export footprints in China through additional tariff concessions and expanded product coverage.

Before the initial Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Pakistan’s exports to China were valued at US$0.5 billion in 2006. Following the inception of the FTA, the exports increased to US$1.6 billion in 2016. It was further recorded at $2.53 billion after CPFTA Phase I and Phase II in 2022. According to data from the China General Administration of Customs, Pakistani exports to China reached US $3.452 billion in 2023.

The initial FTA was signed on November 24, 2006, and concluded in December 2012. Later, CPFTA Phase I was signed on April 28, 2019, and came into force on January 1, 2020. CPFTA Phase II is scheduled to conclude in the current year, 2024.

By the end of the initial phase, China and Pakistan had abolished tariffs on 35.5% of product lines. Under CPFTA-II, the product coverage from both sides has expanded to 75%.

Phase II of the CPFTA enhances market access for both countries. China has eliminated tariffs on 313 product lines, with Pakistan being a major exporter to China in various goods, including textiles, cotton, frozen meat and other animal products, seafood, prepared food, chemicals, carpets, marble, plastics, oilseeds, chili, footwear, engineering goods, machinery, leather, and auto parts.