Customs pact with Saudi Arabia soon

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will soon ink a comprehensive agreement on Customs cooperation and assistance to promote bilateral trade and control illicit drug trafficking between the two countries.

The proposed agreement text — which has already approved by the Pakistani side — has been shared with Saudi Arabian Customs authorities for approval from the government. The issue was raised during a meeting of Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Malikey who called on Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Javed Ghani at the authority’s headquarters.

The agreement will be implemented after approval from Saudi Arabia. “We are working very rapidly on the text. We have already sought comments from relevant department,” the envoy said during the meeting.

Ambassador Al-Malikey said this agreement will further strengthen the relationship between the two countries. “We are keen to finalise it early,” he said.

Pakistan’s exports to Saudi Arabia were $446.18 million in 2019-20 while imports stood at $1,735.81m.

A Saudi Customs delegation visited Pakistan last year and showed interest in signing an agreement for real-time exchange of information on flows of goods.

Pakistan has already started working on electronic data exchange with other countries like the UAE, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2021

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