ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked United States to provide preferential access to its textile market and ease visa process for exporters of IT-related services to further strengthen the bilateral trade ties.
Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said this during council meeting of 8th Trade & Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in Islamabad on Tuesday.
The minister is heading the Pakistan delegation to deliberate upon trade ties between the two countries.
The US delegation at the meeting is led by United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Michael Froman and includes Ambassador David Hale, Deputy USTR Matthew Vogel, Assistant USTR Michael Delaney and Director South & Central Asia USTR Zeba Reyazuddin among others.
The Pakistani delegation included Secretary Commerce Azmat Ranjha, Additional Secretary Commerce Asad Hayauddin and Trade Minister at Washington DC Ali Tahir.
Speaking during the inaugural session, Minister for Commerce said that there are several reasons for which Pakistan deserves preferential access to the US textile market.
“Several international institutions have substantiated Pakistan’s stable economy, while the security situation has also greatly improved making Pakistan now a lot safer than it was a few years ago,” the minister said.
A durably stable Pakistan would not only bring prosperity to its people but would also allow to play its role in creating a stable region, which is our mutual goal, he added.
Ambassador Michael Forman said TIFA served as a premier forum for advancing our trade investment relationship.
Current economic relationship with Pakistan is just a fraction of what it could be and with TIFA we can seek that potential, he said
He said under the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, important structural reforms have been undertaken in Pakistan.
“These reforms include economic and energy reforms that has resulted in enhancing overall economic growth and lowering inflation and which provides a conducive environment for further strengthening trade ties between two countries,” the ambassador said.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed, ways and means to improve access of Pakistani exports to the United States, including those of textiles, agricultural items, enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Pakistan, establishing dispute resolution mechanisms, opening up of defence procurement in Afghanistan to Pakistani companies, holding the next business opportunities conference in Pakistan and other trade related matters.