ISLAMABAD: Federal Minster for Commerce Engr Khurram Dastgir has announced that US Congress will renew US GSP status for Pakistan by summer which has been suspending since last 19 months as the Ministry of Commerce is planning to file a writ petition with the United States to get the US GSP status operational.
Dastgir Khan, addressing the 3rd Pak-US Business Opportunities Conference along with Secretary Commerce Shahzad Arbab and Additional Secretary Rubina Athar, said that Ministry of Commerce (MoC) had prepared a list of Pakistani products which would be presented to the US government while holding talks on the United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
“Bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the US is not in favour of Pakistan because of some trade barriers imposed by the American authorities,” the minister said.
Dastgir termed the two-day conference a historic achievement of the government, saying that it had provided the Pakistani and US private sectors with a platform to interact with each as well as to learn from the experiences of either side.
The conference had sent a health message to not only the US but to all international investors about improved investment friendly environment in Pakistan. The biggest achievement is the participation of US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pitzker to Pakistan, who travelled to Pakistan despite the valid travel advisories.
Similarly, MoC had invited representatives of all four provincial board of investment who briefed the participants about the measures taken by their respective provincial governments to attract more and more investment.
In result of this conference, the USAID has prepared a list of investment projects of huge capital profile to be launched in Pakistan. The MoC will extend all out cooperation to USAID in this connection so that more job and business opportunities can be created in the country.
Participation of over 160 representatives of leading American business empires is also a personification of expression that law and order situation in Pakistan has improved to the extent that American businessmen don’t have any fear from travelling to Pakistan.
Both the Pakistani and US senior officials held a meeting under the auspices of the United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and reviewed progress under the bilateral Joint Action Plan.
The said plan was created by President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif in 2013 to boost two-way trade and investment. Specifically, the two parties discussed trade promotion efforts, entrepreneurship, diversification of agriculture, intellectual property rights, initiatives to boost investment, and workers’ rights.
The participants of the conference had a clear realisation that Pakistan is on the verge of economic take-off and the projected GDP growth rate for Pakistan in the next few years in 4-6%. The government is making policies to reduce the cost of doing business and increase the ease of doing business in the country.
There are 600 multinational companies working in Pakistan whose businesses are flourishing are and most of them are expanding their businesses as well as a number of major US Corporations and businesses have a long history of association with Pakistan, and boast an extremely good return on their investments.