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Lengthy sensitive lists impeding trade

Attock: The Attock Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on Sunday said extensive sensitive lists being maintained by different countries is hindering progress and growth of trade within Saarc region.

The last two decades have witnessed a number of attempts by South Asian countries to promote intra-regional trade through several agreements but with limited success, it said.Main reason behind reduced intra-Saarc trade which is hovering around four per cent of the total trade is large negative trade lists maintained by the member countries which has left all efforts to boost trade almost unsuccessful, said Tariq Mehmood, President ACCI.Speaking to business community, he said that all Saarc nations are providing protection to sectors considered unfit for competition like infant industry, small-scale producers, and agricultural products.

All countries of the grouping must realise that trade agreements could be beneficial only when negative lists are maintained on merit and for a specific period to be phased out eventually, he added.

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