Azerbaijan, Pakistan exploring free trade opportunities
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 7
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
The governments of Azerbaijan and Pakistan are considering the introduction of free trade regime, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Alizade said in an interview with Trend.
Pakistan has earlier offered Azerbaijan to sign a free trade agreement.
“Preparation of a draft free trade agreement and its negotiation is a process that requires a lot of time. The agreement must satisfy both sides, answer trading interests and take into account the priorities,” he said.
During the visit of Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan in Azerbaijan in October 2016, this issue was on the agenda of negotiations and was discussed with the Azerbaijani side, Alizadesaid, adding that it is currently being considered in Azerbaijan’s government.
In line with orders and decrees of Azerbaijan’s president, reforms in customs have been carried out and also procedures have been simplified for obtaining visas for citizens of foreign states, the diplomat said.
“As a result of reforms in the customs sector, the "single window" principle was improved, implementation of the "green corridor" regime was started for transportation of goods and vehicles in 2016, and also a simplified electronic declaration system for individuals was launched,” Alizadesaid.
“Another important point for the development of cooperation is the simplification of visa procedures for foreign citizens through the ASAN visa system, the services of which are already used by Pakistani citizens. All of this encourages Pakistan’s business community to cooperate with Azerbaijan.”
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan amounted to $7.3 million in 2016, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.