Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that the United States is expected to soften travel advisory for Pakistan up. Talking to a media group, Dawood, who accompanied Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US, said that he discussed trade and investment issues with President Trump and Secretary Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The areas of discussion, as per Dawood, were: (i) negative travel advisory; (ii) investment from USA; (iii) market access; (iv) TIFA Council meeting; and (v) business opportunities conference. The issue of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) did not come under discussion, Dawood acknowledged.
Abdul Razak Dawood revealed that President Trump stated that he wants to increase economic activity with Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan conveyed to the Americans that Pakistan wants to expand ties with the US and will extend help in resolution of Afghan issue.
Dawood cited the US President as saying that US wants to increase its trade and investment to Pakistan especially trade not only by 20 percent but 10 or 15 times. Dawood further stated that during the meeting with US Secretary Commerce the latter wanted to export soybean, meat and cotton to Pakistan whereas Islamabad’s interest is in export of textile and leather. “I raised the issue of travel advisory with Secretary Commerce as it hits Pakistan. I informed him that in the presence of travel advisory who will visit Pakistan,” he added to which US Secretary said “we are going to look into it.”
America has expressed keen interest in investment in gas, power generation and other power projects, however, Pakistan has requested US investment in food processing because Pakistan does not have this technology. In reply to a question, Abdul Razak Dawood said that he also requested for a meeting of Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) Council which has not been convened for the last two to three years as this will be the starting point to expand trade and investment ties. Pakistan also requested the US to convene a meeting of TIFA Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) which is expected to be held soon.