China and Pakistan signed an agreement here Friday on an "early
harvest" preferential tariff program for the Free Trade Area
between the two countries.
According to the agreement, 486 categories of Chinese goods
exported to Pakistan will enjoy the zero-tariff treatment, relating
mainly to vegetables, fruit, stone materials, textile machinery and
organic chemical products.
Meanwhile, China will give zero-tariff treatment to 769
categories of goods imported from Pakistan, mainly involving
vegetables, fruit, stone materials, cotton fabric and man-made
The two countries will start the tariff reduction process on
Jan. 1, 2006, and the tariffs are expected to reach zero by Jan. 1,
From that same date, China will also cut its tariffs by 27
percent on 1,671 kinds of products from Pakistan, and Pakistan will
cut tariff by an average range of 22 percent on 575 kinds of
products from China.
The "early harvest" program is the first step to establish
Sino-Pakistan Free Trade Area, said Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo
Xilai at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by
Pakistan Minister of Commerce Humayun Akhtar Khan.
The negotiations on the Sino-Pakistan Free Trade Area were
kicked off in April this year, when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
(Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2005)