Pakistan urged to follow China to work closely with ASEAN member countries

Islamabad: Federal Tax Ombudsman’s Coordinator Meher Kashif Younis has said Pakistan should follow China to work closely with the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries to bolster trade.

He mentioned that China was already working closely with ASEAN neighbors to resolve problems and improve the efficiency of trading, particularly with the development of the digital economy.

“Pakistan has huge potential to enhance its volume of trade with the ASEAN,” he added.

Talking to a delegation of industrialists and traders led by Mian Zeeshan Elahi, he stressed that trade volume of ASEAN countries had exceeded US $ 3.3 trillion, which is likely to improve further in the near future, he said adding that Pakistan’s trade volume with ASEAN countries is US $ 11 billion, which is much less than its current potential.

Younis contended that the practical application of this cooperative approach was also seen in the framework provided by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RECP) agreement which unites the region in the world’s largest trade agreement.

He said business leaders and institutions are looking to further strengthen their regional cooperation and develop business opportunities brought by the RECP agreement.

He emphasized that an essential part of the long term success of the RECP was to nurture new drivers of growth such as digital economy and low carbon development.

He said the digital economy can only reach its full potential if there is a common agreement of digital standards and protocols.

He highlighted that there was a vast scope in diversified sectors for Pakistan to increase its volume of trade with ASEAN who are committed lending full collective strength to recover from the Covid-19 and recent flood devastation that badly affected fragile economy.